Parents tell of the pains and joys of taking care of their school-aged children
Do you have children who go to school? Then you’ll probably understand these two parents’ sacrifices and joys in sending their children to school.
Jowe, 33, is a farmer and construction worker. He has four children, three boys and one girl, his eldest, Jowena, is a Grade 4 student. His wife, Rowena — Jowena’s name is a combination of her parents’ names — works in the next town as wig weaver.
Not far from Jowena’s place is another child, Shaina, a Grade 2 student. Shaina is the youngest of the four siblings.
Shaina’s mother, Annie, 43, is a World Vision volunteer and occasionally accepts laundry from their more well-to-do neighbors.
Jowe admits taking care of the children is exasperating.
“There are no days that they would not quarrel over petty things. Then they would run here, in the neighbor, on the streets. I would look for them or ask Jowena to look for her younger brothers. She would refuse sometimes.”
“They’ re annoying,” Jowena added, defending her attitude. Her brothers are aged 8, 3 and 2 years old.
“Jowena would at times get involved in her brothers’ petty fights,” Jowe said.
On the other hand, Annie has been complaining of Shaina’s growing fondness of mobile games. “When she has a phone, she’s oblivious of anything. That’s why I need to be strict and controlling of her because she gets addicted to it,” she said.
Both Jowena and Shaina passed last year’s grade level with honors and awards.
Shaina has been a consistent first honor student since kindergarten. “When Shaina was very young, I’ve noticed how she can easily grasp what I’m teaching her, like writing her name,” Annie said. For three consecutive years, Annie has been putting ribbons on Shaina every graduation. Her father would later learn about her awards later.
Jowena has been given recognition in school as well for her good grades. “I’m happy and proud of her,” is all that Jowe said, smiling.
Jowena’s father, Jowe, only earns Php300 to Php400 a day. On lean months, there could be no job for him. Jowena’s mother earns between Php2,000 to Php5,000 a month stitching wigs. They are also part of the government’s 4Ps, a program that provide various assistance, e.g, monetary and education, to poor families.
Shaina’s family rely on their father and second sister’s income which is just enough to feed six people in the family. “That does not include my granddaughter’s needs,” Annie said. Her eldest daughter has no work and relies on the family for support.
The second child in the family works in Manila and gives them Php2,000 a month. “We’re not part of 4Ps. I think it’s because the field interviewer that time put the wrong information on the data sheet,” Annie said.
Despite their family’s daily struggles, young Jowena and Shaina aspire to be teachers someday. None of their family members have been to college due to lack of financial means. Going to college in their village would require an estimated sum of at least Php12,000 for the whole year excluding daily school allowances.
“I’ll try to make her dream happen,” Annie said.
“If I we have the money, then why not. It’s better to have a college child,” Jowe said.
World Vision currently supports the educational needs of the two children by providing them with annual school supplies which help lessens their families’ expenses every class opening.