SOUTH UPI, Maguindanao– A Catholic priest has built a dormitory that would house about 80 indigenous peoples (IPs) in a remote village here to help IPs enrolled in a public school here.
Fr. Dennis Gui of the Missionary group Oblates of Mary Immaculate said the dormitory constructed near the Lumao National High School will help reduce, if not eradicate, student dropout rate.
Constructed with monetary donations from Rotary Club of Manila and Rotary Club of Cotabato-South and other benefactors, the dormitory will serve as halfway house for Teduray Lambangian tribe living in remote communities of South Upi.
“They had to walk daily for several hours before reaching the school in Barangay Kuya,” Gui said. “The dorm will serve as their temporary home and return to their villages on weekends,” he said.
During the Entingayen Festival Tuesday, the dormitory was blessed and inaugurated to be ready for occupancy of indigenous peoples’ students from outlying villages.
Gui, parish priest of Our Lady of Salvacion parish and Pilar Cogonon, principal of Lumao National High School, joined hands to come up with a dormitory for boys with the help of Rotary Clubs and other friends.
Cogonon said the dormitory will surely help reduce, if not eradicate, drop outs among IP students who lived in far flung villages of South Upi.
Parents have complained that school children lost interest in coming to school due to distance.
Gui and Cogonon then agreed to work hand in hand for the construction of the modest dormitory that can house about 80 students.
Gui appreciated the assistance extended by the Rotary Club of Manila, the Rotary Club of Cotabato South and some of his personal friends. (PNA)