World Vision tent classrooms: Safe learning spaces for Marawi learners
Norhussein, 6-year-old, starts his day by singing nursery rhymes, reading the alphabet and playing inside the World Vision tent classroom in Sagonsongan Transitory Site, a temporary shelter area for families displaced by the Marawi Crisis.
For Bunso, the tent classroom is a happy place and a far cry from his bad experience one year ago when his family fled their community because of the armed conflict in Marawi City. Their family is one of the more than 77,000 internally displaced families affected by the crisis.
“I go to the tent classroom every day because I enjoy listening to the teachers and playing with my friends,” said Norhussein while holding the pretend camera he made using building blocks.
Norhussein is one of the 1,600 pupils enrolled in Kindergarten Catch up Education Program (KCEP) led by the Department of Education (DepEd) for the internally displaced children of the Marawi Crisis. KCEP is an educational intervention for children 5 years old and above who do not have access to school or those who live under difficult circumstance or displaced due to the armed conflict.
World Vision partnered with DepEd to provide temporary learning spaces for the displaced Marawi children enrolled in KCEP.
Volunteer teacher Norhana Radia said playing is an essential part of the learning and development of children in their tent classroom. The lessons are carried out through play-based activity such as singing, dancing and playing. “The kids love playing with clay. They pretend they are bakers,” shared Radia.
World Vision has provided educational materials such as crayons, toys, and books to facilitate the learning of the students. “The school supplies provided by World Vision are a big help because sometimes the students do not want to go to school because they do not have school supplies,” shared Radia.
Every day from 7 am to 11 am, 35 students go to the tent school to attend classes. The tent also serves as a playground for the children. “Their temporary houses are small, our KCEP classes serve as their break from their usual routines. Activities of NGO’s such as this learning space provide support to the children” said Radia.
For the KCEP students, the tent is their safe haven. “The children are assured that they are safe when they are with their teachers. They still visit the tent to play even without classes,” shared Radia.
Majority of the children in her class are residents of the most affected area in Marawi City. One year after the crisis, Radia said the children have forgotten the sound of bombs because of the KCEP classes. “Now, they just remember the nursery rhymes we teach them,” said Radia.
Seven-year-old Bainarie first learned to read the alphabet and write her name in the KCEP classroom. She was set to enroll in kindergarten when the Marawi Crisis erupted. Bainarie missed one school year.
KCEP is a bridge program for children like Bainarie to prepare them to enter first grade this coming June.
“I am excited for the new lessons when I become grade one this June,” said Bainarie.
Bainarie brings her 2-year-old sister in the tent classroom when her parents are not around to look after her younger sibling. “She also loves to play with my classmates,” said Bainarie.
On May 29, 35 KCEP students in the transitory site, including Bainarie, will receive their completion certificates. Children who participated in the program will be enrolled as Grade 1 students this coming school year.
Radia hopes that the Marawi children will have quality and free education to prepare them for the future. “I am happy that I was part of their formative years. I also learned a lot from the kids,” said Radia.
World Vision/May 29, 2018
World Vision is a global Christian relief, development and advocacy organisation dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender.