The start of every school year is usually marked by excitement and optimism. On the first day of classes, students come to school with their new uniforms, notebooks, books, bags, and other learning materials. Many parents most especially in the grade school accompany their children and send them off to their classes. But this was not the scenario when classes opened in the Junior High School Department of Don Bosco-Makati last Monday, August 24,2020. With face-to-face classes still prohibited due to COVID-19, the unimaginable happened which was the virtual opening of classes for school year 2020-2021.
Refusing to be dampened by the effects of the pandemic, the Interim Student Council composed of last year’s elected officers and volunteers together with their adviser Mr. Jeysi De Ocampo planned and prepared the program for the opening of classes as early as July. The main objective of the program is to uplift the spirit of the Junior High School Bosconians and bridge the gap between school year 2019-2020 and 2020-2021. Since teaching and learning will be online, they conceived a Netflix-inspired theme dubbed as “BUSKOFLEX”.
The JHS program for the opening of classes was premiered in the Don Bosco Makati JHS – Student Council Facebook Page which promptly began at 9:00 AM. The music video “Apostle of the Young”, the institution’s gift to St. John Bosco on the occasion of his 205th birth anniversary last August 16,2020 ushered the program which was followed by the patriotic rites. It was followed by the Morning Prayer prepared by Fr. Renato De Guzman, SDB and Mr. Paulo Tiglao of the Pastoral Affairs Office. Fr. Jose Favie Faldas, SDB, the school rector welcomed everyone and thanked the parents for trusting Don Bosco-Makati in the continuous education of their sons despite the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. The newly appointed Basic Education Director, Bro. Carmelo Martinez, SDB, and Mr. Darwin Buensuceso, the JHS Principal also welcomed and gave their messages to the parents and students. Afterwards, the JHS faculty and staff were introduced in a Netflix-inspired presentation that delighted everyone. It was followed by the launching of the “Buwan ng Wika” celebration via video prepared by the Kapisanang Pilipino. Before the program ended, Dr. Gilbert Arrieta, the Assistant Principal for Student Affairs presented the schedule in the first week of classes.
The program was energetically hosted by Jose Luis Mendoza (Grade 9) and Jose Mikyl Medina (Grade 10). Leading the planning and preparation of the successful program for the opening of school year 2020-2021 were Santiago Pantaleon (Grade 10), Interim Student Council Coordinator, Benjamin Chan (Grade 10), Interim Student Council Assistant Coordinator, Ryan Baustista (Grade 10), and Gavrie Guazon (Grade 10), Interim Student Council Interim PRO.
Touched and thrilled by the program, everyone was inspired to begin the school year with an optimistic mindset believing that God and the Blessed Mother, Mary Help of Christians will accompany the learning community in the new normal in evangelization and education.