By: Pahad W. Abbas
Jomarie inspects the desks and chairs of a public school in Labangan.
Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur– Jomarie Pagayao, a CMS volunteer from Labangan, was tagged by his family as the “black sheep”. He always got into trouble and stopped schooling due to bad vices and wrong choice of peers.
His parents tried several times to convince him to go back to his studies but failed.
They bought new stuff for his schooling and even gave him a motorcycle to make him to go back to school. None of these worked.
The last resort of the family was to send him to a Madrasah, an Arabic school, to transform his beliefs and awaken his Islamic spirituality. But just like many other attempts, they failed.
Sometime in 2016, I recruited Jomarie to be one of my volunteers for CheckMySchool. For this cycle of implementation, I targeted out-of-school youth to be involved in socio-civic works.
During the actual visits to several schools, Jomarie confessed to me, “Kuya Phadj, ing-ani diay ninyo ginabuhat? Inyo jud diay chenicheck ang mga eskwelahan. Luoy diay ako ma teacher sa una kay labad man ko nga estudyante sa una,” (Kuya Phadj, the monitoring that you do in CMS makes sense to me now. I’m sorry for my Math teacher then because I was a reckless student.) Jomarie said.
He added “Kuya mubalik kaha ko ug eskwela?” (“Kuya, I think I want to study again.)
After the culmination of our school visits, Jomarie enrolled at Pagadian City Capitol College for Bachelor of Science in Criminology. He is on his third year now.
Jomarie inspects a public school classroom in Labangan.