Finding the right (or is there really such thing as the “right “)school for our children maybe one of the hardest things every parent is confronted to do. As parent myself, I have been confronted with this problem when news about the closure of the school where my children goes surfaced. Let me tell you something. The school which my children have been enrolled to is the only surviving exclusive school for girls in our place. Most exclusive schools for girls have already begun accepting boys years before. Being the only school for girls, makes its tuition fee a little higher than the usual. The school is located inside the compound of a sugar company; with that, the company used to take part in running the said school (however that works). However, after 75 years the company has also experienced financial crisis. As a result a so called “spin off” took place fifteen years ago. For the past 15 years, the school has tried to survive and maintain quality education under the nurturing presence of the Salesian Sisters (FMA). It has also managed to produce graduates who are not only academically intelligent but also socially and spiritually competent. The school is now challenged with three major concerns:
Teachers – Teachers have opted to apply to public schools because of a very rewarding and promising monetary compensation.
Students- Out of the current 354 students, only 261 confirmed to enroll again next school year. Basic mathematics would tell us that the lesser the students the bigger the tuition should be. However, a tuition fee hike is not an option at this point because some families are not anymore capable of sending their children to a private school.
Financial Matters/Operating Expenses -As a non – profit institution, the school maintains a tuition fee that is good enough to maintain the costs of running the school.
As a parent of the said school for over nine years now…I stood by the basic reasons why I find it necessary to salvage the school from the brink of closure. And I always go back to the basics. Why did i choose this school over the other available private schools around? and why do I need to make use of this space to save it? Well..this is with the hopes that i might be able to help in my little way. So why? Please take note that this is taken from on the account of my own experience as an educator myself too who has been exposed and in touched with most of the today’s young people.
So why SMMS then?
1. Salesian Youth Movement (holiness is fun) -they have managed to instill into the minds and hearts of the young girls the idea of “holy fun”, that having fun is not only going out or hanging around, that is there is fun in going to mass, in attending retreats and recollection, in sharing and caring for the needy, in studying their lessons, in hanging around with their love one.. St, John Bosco said, ‘run, jump, shout,but never sin”..indeed students have embodied the cheerfulness and innocence of being young.
2. Presence of the Salesian Sisters- The Salesian Sisters primary mission is to be with the young people. Their presence is felt and seen around the school all through out the day. In fact there is always (without a miss) an assigned sister greeting the students every morning as they arrive in school.
3. Social awareness through apostolate & catechesis- The school has solidify its apostolate and cathechetical programs providing an avenue for students to be of service to others.
4. Solid Values Formation- Students are not only trained to be academically competent but they are as well being nurtured to become a well rounded person.
5. Safe & Secured Environment- Being located in an area where there are no accessible malls, cafes, bars, this makes it safe. Safe from temptations actually. Temptations of cutting classes, temptations of “after school” fun.