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CEP Intern Kristina: Things I’ve Learnt in 17 Days

Teach for the Philippines is located at Unit 201 Asia Tower Condominium, Benavidez corner Paseo de Roxas Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City. After climbing the long case of stairs next to the parking space every day, I turn left to see the big circular red logo that has “Teach for the Philippines” printed on it with the Philippine archipelago next to it and adjacent to it is a big glass door that leads to a quiet space with tables, chairs, counters, and couches to work on.

For 17 days, I sat on one single chair situated at a long table in the middle of this open space. I sat here to see as it gives me a view of the outside, which is basically just one big tree, three buildings, a couple of cars parked at the building opposite, a big post with spaghetti wires attached to it. It was the same scenery for 17 days. 17 days, wherein when I felt tired I’d just think about the spaghetti wires and why the country has them. It was at this chair, I observed the actual interior of this place with my peripheral view.

The time I was here was made up of me researching on how to prepare for emergency situations, encoding test results and scores (inclusive of finding errors in answers and checking), and using Photoshop. A big portion of my stay here was made up of using Photoshop. Why? It was to make the infographics on emergency situations nice. Honestly speaking, I’ve never been the best at Photoshop but I knew how to use it. Not only did I learn about how to prepare for emergencies, I also improved my skills during my stay here and besides that I used the time wherein I encoded test results as a short review for my upcoming CETs (college entrance tests).

Philippines is the country wherein we reside in. It is here in the Philippines we experience plenty of problems. Climate change, corruption, traffic, inefficiency, and violence are just a few I can name. Yes, it’s a lot and it can’t all be fixed in a day it has to be helped over time. Teach for the Philippines chose to help out a problem that involves the futures of the Filipino people. This problem is the education system.

Is education a right or a privilege? It should be a right but in the Philippines proper education goes to the privileged. In public schools, not everyone who enters Grade 1 will finish their elementary education. The goal of Teach for the Philippines is for all Filipino children to get an excellent and relevant education. It’s through their ‘Teacher Fellows’ who help the students from various regions, that they can achieve their vision and mission and make proper education a right rather than a privilege.

A little background information about me: I’m Kristina Sevidal, 16 (As of the year 2017), I’m entering my last year at the school I’ve been at for 11 years, St. Paul College, Pasig. Now why would I want to help out in a place that aims to provide proper education to all when I’m still at the end of the middle of my education? It’s because of the fact that I along with thousands of students are getting proper education while another large portion isn’t getting it.

Place of work, is one thing you can call Teach for the Philippines to me but it’s also the place where I go everyday to use my laptop and do things given to me. I learnt how to work here, how to talk to people who are older than me, how to be comfortable in a foreign space, and how to reply to emails.

Of course I’m still in a nutshell of shyness and introversion but I learnt a lot here and I learnt about the value of education as well as how some people are really lucky to be able to study. I didn’t remotely do anything that will help in terms of education in this organization but helping in the slightest already gave me the satisfaction of service.

Service is done voluntarily with a person’s heart in it and if there’s anything I am most sure of during my 17-day stay here in Unit 201 of the Asia Tower Condominium it is that [read the first word of each paragraph from top to bottom].


n.b. Photo taken from Kristina’s Facebook page