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Valenzuela inaugurates Canumay East campus

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The celebration of Dr. Pio Valenzuela’s 152nd Birth Anniversary continues with the inauguration and blessing ceremonies of the Canumay East National High School (CENHS) campus and the WES Multi-Purpose Building in Barangay Canumay East on July 20, 2021.

“As we celebrate the 152nd birthday of Dr. Valenzuela, we continue to build a city that is inclusive. Sa paggunita natin ng kaarawan ni Dr. Pio ngayong birth month niya, sinisigurado natin na ‘yung pangarap ng bawat siyudad na maging inklusibo, ginagawa po natin,” Valenzuela City Mayor REX Gatchalian said.

As the City commits to providing quality education to every Valenzuelano student through the Education 360° Investment Program, the 32-classroom, four-storey facility will surely be a safe and conducive place for learning for the CENHS population once face-to-face classes resume.

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Through this new learning institution, the City Government of Valenzuela aims to ignite the hope of a brighter future for every student, help them tap their unrealized potentials, and guide them on their journey towards becoming well-rounded and productive members of the society.

Barangay Canumay East Punong Barangay Reynaldo “Rey” Miranda thanked the National Government, the City Government, and Deputy Speaker Congressman Wes Gatchalian for another successful project that would be very beneficial to their high school students.  Kap. Rey also disclosed that more infrastructure works are already in the pipeline for their barangay, “Naniniwala kami na kahit sa panahon ng pandemya, hindi ito hadlang para tuloy-tuloy ang proyekto at mapalakas ang imprastruktura upang maging masigla, maayos, at progresibo na ang Barangay Canumay East,” he remarked.

On behalf of the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Council, SK Chair Myra Catibog also expressed her gratitude to the City Government for building a national high school in their barangay.

“Naging tugon po kayo para magkaroon po uli ng national high school dito sa Canumay East. Malaking tulong po ito sa amin kasi hindi na namin kailangang pumunta sa Lawang Bato, sa Canumay West, or sa ibang barangay para po makapagpatuloy ng secondary [education]… Isang malaking regalo po ito sa mga mag-aaral dito sa aming barangay. Bawat  pasilidad na bini-build po natin, especially ‘yung mga eskwelahan, ito po ang simula ng pagbuo ng pangarap ng bawat kabataan dito,” Catibog said.

Of the 33 barangays in Valenzuela City, Canumay East was the only barangay with a major population (i.e., consisting of 1,000 persons) that did not have its own national high school until the inauguration of the CENHS new building. In the last few years, Canumay East Elementary School shared a campus with CENHS.

The emergence of the new CENHS campus now decongests its grade school counterpart, allowing it to implement a one-shift schedule,  “Dati, may high school naman ang Canumay East pero maliit. So ngayon, mayroon nang ganap na sariling campus na medyo malaki-laki. Kaya nang mag-single shift. So, lumaki na rin ‘yung [Canumay East] elementary bigla ngayong araw na ito. So parang two-in-one itong proyekto na ito,” Mayor REX affirmed.

The City Mayor adds, “Ang mga proyekto natin this month, puro mga proyektong magpapadama sa ating mga kababayang Valenzuelano na bahagi sila ng isang umuunlad at umaasensong lungsod. Ang paaralang ito ay simbolo ng pagiging inklusibo ng Valenzuela City – na hindi kailangang mayaman, hindi kailangang may kaya sa buhay para makapagpatuloy ng pag-aaral. Siyempre, alam naman natin, the greatest equalizer o ‘yung pinakamagandang tagapantay ng iba't-ibang estado ng buhay [ay] edukasyon.”

Gaps, gains, and losses

The City’s efforts to improve the quality of education would not be possible without the support of the Department of Education (DepEd) Valenzuela. Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Meliton Zurbano likewise acknowledged the City Government’s help, especially during the first pandemic school year.

Looking back at the past year, Dr. Zurbano recounted DepEd Valenzuela’s gains, gaps, and losses gleaned from operating while the country was reeling from the COVID-19 outbreak, “Ang isa po sa mga pinakamalaking pakinabang [na] nakita natin [ay] ang maraming nagmamahal sa edukasyon. ‘Yung pagtulong po ay bumuhos. Malaking tulong, maliit na tulong, malasakit — nakita po natin sa halos lahat ng sektor ng lipunan,” Dr. Zurbano shared.

The Division Superintendent also declared that despite the challenges encountered by the students and DepEd Valenzuela, learning was achieved through the various modalities (i.e., purely modular, online, blended) introduced last school year.

He, however, recognized that there are certain competencies that simply cannot be taught via blended or online learning. In that sense, he says, that there are still gaps in learning.  As for the losses, Dr. Zurbano intimated that some private schools had to close down and some students have been displaced because of the pandemic.

Still, Dr. Zurbano reassures that DepEd Valenzuela will use the data on gains, gaps, and losses for plan adjustments moving forward.

Valenzuela City Vice Mayor and Education Champion Lorie Natividad-Borja lauded DepEd’s assessment saying, “Ang sikreto natin dito sa Valenzuela City kung bakit maganda ang ating antas ng edukasyon, ay hinaharap, tinitignan, at pinag-aaralan po talaga ng ating pamahalaang lungsod  kung ano ang mga kakulangan at problema natin... ‘Pag ganun po na hindi tayo nabubulag sa mga kakulangan, inaamin natin ‘yung pagkukulang, nakikita din natin at naibibigay natin ang tunay na solusyon. At ang nakikinabang doon, ang mga estudyante natin.”

Gearing up for S.Y. ‘21-‘22

As the pandemic continues, education for grade school and high school will continue in the blended learning and online modalities for school year 2021 to 2022.

But despite this development, Deputy Speaker Cong. WES Gatchalian believes that Valenzuela City should not stop building classrooms and students should not just get used to having learning modules delivered to their homes, “Kailangan patuloy pa rin ang preparasyon natin para po sa mga darating nna school years pa... Darating po ang panahon na matatapos na rin po itong pandemya. Ipanalangin po natin [para ang ating] mga anak ay pwede na pong bumalik sa face-to-face classes,” he concluded.

Cong. WES also gifted CENHS with a sound system which can be used for its school programs in the future.

Also in attendance during the inauguration were District 1 Councilors Rovin Andrew Feliciano and Atty. Walter Magnum “Bimbo” dela Cruz, Liga ng mga Barangay President Coun. Bienvenido “Jonjon” Bartolome Jr., former City Councilor Tony Espiritu, Kap. Cris Feliciano of Barangay Arkong Bato, Kagawad Keisha Ancheta of Barangay Veinte Reales, and the Barangay Canumay East Council.

Representing CENHS were Principal Ms. Patricia de Vera, the CENHS faculty, General Parents-Teachers Association (GPTA) President Ms. Rowena Agustin, and GPTA officers.

The new CENHS school building has four faculty rooms, while the multi-purpose building has a basketball court and a stage.


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