I’m referring to someone who I doubt could be familiar to anyone here in blogosphere. I virtually met this 24-year old Tboli today from Brgy, New La Union in Maitum, Sarangani Province.
The Sarangani Information Office sent a press release, which our news organization used in this story.
Tom isn’t Mark Twain’s adventurous Sawyer kid of-all-time. Tom is Tom Balatac, the 24-year old Grade 1 student of Kipalkuda Elementary School in Maitum.
I commend Tom for the courage of going against social persecution, perhaps, of coming to school much later. It is one brave act that sends a wonderful message to those who have access to quality education but did not value the opportunity as of now.
Tom said he has experienced being poor and he doesn’t like it so he has to go to school.
There are many”Toms” out there, especially in Mindanao’s rural areas. I think Tom could be the image model of these people. It will be surely an encouraging, if not inspiring, move for Tom to choose to be “in-school” despite his age.
I’m sure he could try the acceleration programs of the Department of Education.
Many of the likes of Tom live in areas very far from the accessible schools. Many are also hindered by poverty to go to school.
Still many, I believe Tom is one of them, who come from indigenous communities who cannot access the schools.
Good that there are now initiatives, too, to use culturally sensitive education curriculum for indigenous peoples.
Anyway, Congrats to Tom and to other people who are behind him in his quest for education.