09 August 2007

'Pusong mamon' takes her first periodicals

PEP, MY "pusong mamon" of a daughter, took her first periodical test this morning at Grandview Elementary.

She is one of the millions of new Grade I students that trooped to the public school system when the school year opened last June. I was hoping theirs will be the first batch that would take a standard quarterly exam among all public elementary schools in the city.

That was the plan when we crafted the School Board budget for 2007 last December, justifying a 600% increase in funding for testing -- from a little over P140,000 in 2006 to around a million, including the acquisition of a high-speed top-of-the-line Risograph for faster reproduction. The equipment was procured and turned over; but the citywide quarterly test did not materialize, at least for the first quarter.

So we had to cough up a little contribution for her testing fee -- all public school parents had to in the absence of that standardized test that would allow us to compare which school did better and which ones did not every quarter.

Pep, unlike her older sister Pia who is growing up to be as tough as nail, is one who easily gets cold feet. So her mother, whose patient hands-on in-your-face tutoring last summer has yielded handsome payback as Pep is now able to read -- earlier in fact than Pia -- came home before noontime and brought them some food. But her unexpected presence, and constant reassurance that giving her best is enough for us, was more than enough to perk Pep up.

After securing her baon after lunch, her mother told me on the way home this afternoon, Pep quickly disappeared. When we arrived home just before sunset, she was already playing with friends at the still roofless Grandview multipurpose center. "How did your exams go?"I asked. Her thumbs-up sign I think said it all.