Reigniting Joy in Schools through Child-Friendly Spaces

After more than two years of not being able to see her students, Namraidah, principal of Bai Inumba Blo Bacarat Central Elementary School in Marawi City, expresses her excitement as the country slowly returns to holding physical classes.

“The students are eager to go back to school and study with their classmates and teachers,” she says.

The COVID 19 pandemic shut down all schools in the Philippines and restricted movement to avoid the surge in cases caused by the deadly virus. Many private schools in Mindanao were able to adjust and immediately set up online classes. Other schools, however, had difficulty initiating classes due to financial constraint and equipment.

Teacher Namraidah observes that the pandemic caused distress to their students. “They are slowly losing interest in learning at home. Parents are too busy working, failing to guide their children in their modules,” she says.

The Philippine government recently allows a few schools to hold physical classes. Now that face-to-face classes are starting, Namraidah ensures that her school is prepared to welcome their students while observing standard COVID 19 risk management protocol.

With World Vision’s Marawi Peace and Protection (MPP) Project, a child friendly spaces were set up in Bai Inumba Blo Bacarat Central Elementary School. The child-friendly spaces consist of handwashing facilities, a playground, and benches that children can all use once they go back to physical classes soon.

“The playground will be very helpful in the psychological aspect of the children. This will make them more motivated and excited to come to school after being locked down for almost two years,” Namraidah happily relates.

The new school handwashing facility also made life easier for teachers who go to schools to prepare and receive thousands of workbooks from their students. “We are very glad that World Vision provided us safe and child-friendly handwashing facilities. It is now very convenient for everyone to access the facility, contributing to the safety of our staff, parents and students,” she shares.

In addition to the child friendly space, World Vision’s also provided school kits to children, and teaching kits and school materials such as photocopier for module printing to Bai Elementary School.

“These interventions brought back the joy to our students and hard-working teachers. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank World Vision for helping us create a school where children can learn in a safe and fun environment. We are now ready for the upcoming pilot face-to-face classes,” Namraidah concludes.