When super typhoon Rolly hit the island province of Catanduanes in November 2020 a lot of schools and day care centers were brought to the ground and their teaching and learning supplies washed out by the flood. The massive devastation left child development centers and its workers with a challenge on how will they operate to ensure the continued learning of their day care students.
“While we totally understand that the local government unit’s budget is already depleted from COVID-19 response and in providing the community with relief assistance, it also meant that they can barely support us financially for the printing and reproduction of worksheets and modules of our young learners,” Teacher Aiza, a child development worker in San Roque, Bato said.
Aiza, 29, mother of Marky, 7, and Precious, 3. She has been serving as child development worker in their municipality for three years now but have never experienced anything like the super typhoon during a health pandemic. “As a mother of young children, I can relate to the challenges the parents are now facing, we now have to attend to the role of primary teachers to our children at home on top of doing household chores and earning a living,” Aiza shared.
She expounded that aside from losing their teaching materials, their students also rely on them for learning materials. Some day care teachers tried to earn extra income by selling homemade products to the community in order to buy printing supplies. These efforts reflect the dedication of these educators for their students’ learning and development.
The six-month emergency response and recovery intervention of Save the Children Philippines included provision of printers and printing supplies including ink and bond papers to the municipalities of Bato, San Andres, and Virac in Catanduanes.
“Receiving the printer and printing materials from Save the Children motivated us to continue our work despite the challenges. We are thankful for all your support. Recovering from the typhoon and the hope to get through this pandemic seems achievable when we have organizations like you who are generously helping us,” Aiza said.
Save the Children Philippines also distributed 20 Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) Kits and conducted a webinar on psychosocial and stress management for 140 child development workers for the ECCD centers in all three municipalities.
“We are excited to use the educational toys, storybooks, and other teaching materials from the ECCD Kit especially when face-to-face classes resume. But for now, we are bringing some of it during our home visitation to our students and you can on their smiles and enthusiasm how happy our students using it,” said Aiza.
She also expressed that going through the loss of houses, properties, livelihood, schools and even loved ones have affected both adults and children in the province.
“I like how the webinar helped us understand our mental and psychological well-being and how to manage our stress. It also reminded us of our duty of protecting our learners from all forms of harm, abuse, and punishment,” Aiza recalled. She added how they, as child development workers should observe the following child protection practices – look, listen, and link. These three encourages them to be vigilant to the well-being of children, establish a healthy communication, and if needed, direct them to child protection referral pathway.
“Another relevant and practical topic for me from the webinar is on positive discipline. As a parent and an educator, I know that children have a right to healthy and safe environment, but being reminded, how some of the discipline practices that we Filipinos grew up to, violates the rights of children against physical and humiliating punishments,” said Aiza. She added that right now her goal is to raise her children in a violent-free approach, establish a trusting and healthy communication.
“I am excited to try this new parenting style and serve as an example to other parents here. I have high hopes that we can continue what Save the Children taught us,” shared Aiza.