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Cabatangan Elementary School transforms academically, physically

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As the saying goes, “The only permanent thing on earth is change”. Cabatangan Elementary School has undergone a total transformation from a school of only one grade level which comprised of twenty (20) Grade I pupils handled by one teacher to a complete elementary school with 718 pupils, nineteen teachers and one school principal and from conducting classes at the house of a resident to a school with five (5) one-storey and two (2) two-storey buildings where classes are being held. Academically, the school has improved tremendously as manifested by the increase of Mean Percentage Score in the National achievement Test of 63% for SY 2010-2011 to 87.24% for SY 2011-1012, thus, raising its status from a Low Performing School to a High Performing School. On the physical aspect, the school has gone through complete change. It is like a woman who was once dressed poorly and transformed to a well-dressed one.   

Cabatangan Elementary School is one of the twelve (12) elementary schools in Sta. Maria District. It is located at upper Cabatangan, Zamboanga City and is 6.64 kilometers away from the city hall and within the 7-kilometer radius of the city proper. The school was first opened in July 20, 1959 with only one grade and classes were held at the house of the one of the prominent residents, the late Felipe Jalon Francisco. After a year of holding classes at his house, one of the residents donated the lot where the school building could be erected and built. The late City Mayor Cesar C. Climaco facilitated the donation of the lot. He was the one who talked and convinced the owner, the late Luis Bonifacio to donate a portion of his lot. The first school structure was made of bamboo and nipa. As years went by its population increased, thus, the need for additional teachers and facilities. The school continues to grow and expand year by year as the population of the barangay increases due to birth and migration of families. As of the moment, it has 718 pupils with three sections each for Grades I-III and two sections each for Grades IV-VI. The school has fifteen Teacher-I items and three Teacher-II. There is also one kindergarten class handled by a volunteer teacher. The present school principal is the 15th to manage the school. The academic as well as physical aspects of the school improved tremendously throughout the years. It continues to soar high by winning in different academic contests both in the district as well as division levels. The academic performance of the pupils has improved a lot and is still improving. The teachers as well have undergone a total make over socially and emotionally because of the various school activities, trainings and seminars that they have attended and participated in which eventually bolster their self-confidence and make them believe in their capabilities as a teacher.

The school is very conducive to teaching and learning. It envisions to produce functionally literate and globally competitive Filipino children imbued with spiritual and moral values that will guide them to create their own destiny. It is strategically located in an unevenly shaped but beautifully designed terrain. The school area is a one-hectare wide expanse of agricultural land characterized by rolling hills and wide valleys. The hilly portions are lush with cogon and trees that make the place looks like a virgin forest untouched by mankind. It is densely vegetated with hardwood trees and other vegetations that supply the needed fresh air and make the place conducive to teaching-learning atmosphere. It is dominated mostly by Zamboangueños but does not limit itself to this group of people with particular beliefs but to all those who have talents, abilities and capabilities and those who need to be educated in school.

Alfred Mercier once said, “What we learn with pleasure we never forget”. Therefore, Cabatangan Elementary School continues rising with flying colors and moving onwards to give our pupils the best education which they will never forget.

The author; Maria Laarni T. Villanueva used to be a youth leader of the Pag Asa Youth Movement. Villanueva is a prolific educator as she is full of dynamism, pro active initiative and above all dedication in the teaching profession. She has transformed Cabatangan Elementary School into a vibrant community of learners.




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