Recoletos brand of education revolutionizes school programs in Sierra Leone

Kamalo, SIERRA LEONE – “Transition creates tension” summarized how Fray Jose Prudencio Castillo, OAR, head of the Augustinian Recollect Mission in Sierra Leone and local prior of the Recoletos de Kamalo community, saw the stakeholders’ initial reactions to the educational climate change introduced by the Recoletos friars in their school apostolate here.

As the new school year opened last September, the Recoletos-run St. Paul School (SPS), under the directorship of Fray Jess Marco Sanchez, OAR, proudly displayed and brought into play its new slogan, “One School, One Family, One Heart.”

Fray Castillo said that the slogan intends to reinforce the understanding of the school as a good place not just for learning but also for the sense of belonging.

Starting SY 2018-19, SPS caters already to all school levels of Basic Education, from pre-primary to senior secondary. And its standard, which has always been “top of the line” as Fray Sanchez proudly described it, is continuously raised not just in terms of its physical plant (such as the recent completion of the Pre-School Building, fence, modern toilet system, water facilities, and the school pavilion) but also including other equally important areas of the school operation.

Fray Jess Marco Sanchez, OAR, School Director of St. Paul School in Kamalo, West Africa.

“Now students from all levels can better feel the familial atmosphere. They gather daily as one family for the recitation of prayers, singing of the national anthem, and listening to the announcements,” Fray Castillo noted. “And this is a first in the history of Sanda Loko (a chiefdom in Bombali District where Kamalo belongs), or maybe of the country,” he added.

“However, the numerous developments that had been implemented caused some negative reactions from the parents, teachers, and students,” Fray Castillo recounted, identifying the two highly criticized innovations implemented by the administration, namely, the construction of a more sanitary flush toilet system and the imposition of “time rules” at the school gate.

“These are the things that they have not encountered nor seen before. They are used to the unsanitary pit latrines, and also to doing their daily chores according to the mood of the sun,” Fray Castillo said.

“But, right after the PTA (Parent Teacher Association) meeting, everybody realized that everything was meant for the integral development of their children.” One parent even commented that these, as quoted by Fray Castillo, “are new things that will prepare our children towards a very challenging globalized world.”

Furthermore, the newly-constructed Pre-School Building was blessed just last October 29, 2018 by Fray Castillo.

Fray Jose Prudencio Castillo, OAR, head of the OAR mission in Sierra Leone and prior of Recoletos de Kamalo blessed the newly constructed classrooms of St. Paul School.

“The construction of the school building was made possible through the efforts of the Order of the Augustinian Recollects – Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno, the OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers) of Sierra Leone, and the local contributors,” he said.

But payment for the so-called “teacher’s incentives” and other related financial needs are met through the consistent contribution of the eponymous St. Paul the Apostle Parish and those of the parents themselves, he also said.

Fray Castillo also pointed out that the pre-school introduced a “heart-set” in their apostolate, an alternative to the cultural “mind-set” of the people that, among others, treats children as the least in the community. The children are the last to eat in a communal gathering, and their daily life normally consists of more work with practically no time for play or leisure. Recoletos Education rides on the current bandwagon of gradually eradicating the dark side of some practices so that the community as a whole can move forward towards a better future.

Some of pre-school pupils of SPS.

“And this made the people realize that the future of Sierra Leone lies in the hands of their children,” Fray Castillo said.

His last updates: “It is very heartwarming to see, on a daily basis, parents sending their small, happy kids to class wearing their clean and complete uniform, with their bags, juice bottles, and lunch packs. It is also notable that majority of the pre-schoolers enrolled at SPS are Catholic.”

The future of Sierra Leone: the young Sierra Leonians.
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Fray Jose Ernil Almayo, OAR

Fray Jose Ernil F. Almayo, OAR, is currently the Provincial Secretary of the St. Ezekiel Moreno Province and Chairman of the Commission on Communications and Publications-Recoletos

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< 2019 >
January
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  1
  • All day
    January 1, 2019

    SOLEMNITY OF THE THEOTOKOS

    WORLD DAY OF PEACE

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Celerina Hifarva, AR
    Sr. Cristita Cha, AR

23
  • All day
    January 3, 2019

    HOMETOWN THANKSGIVING MASS OF FRAY NIEL RYAN JARUMAY, OAR
    St. Joseph Parish / Canlaon City, Negros Oriental
    9:00 A.M.

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Gregoria Ibarra, AR
    Sr. Ma. Bella Mojica, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Clemencia Ranin, AR

4
  • All day
    January 4, 2019

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Regina Cadiz, AR
    Sr. Adelaida Elli, AR

5
  • All day
    January 5, 2019

    HOMETOWN THANKSGIVING MASS OF FRAY ELPEDIO SARITA, JR., OAR
    St. Ezekiel Moreno Quasi Parish/ Caidiocan, Valencia, Negros Oriental
    9:30 A.M.

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Leonarda Muncada, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ma. Cleofe Claro, AR

6
  • All day
    January 6, 2019

    EPIPHANY OF THE LORD

    PROVINCIAL COUNCIL MEETING
    Venue: Provincial House / 2:00 P.M.

    PROVINCE-WIDE CHRISTMAS PARTY
    Venue: Provincial House / 6:00 P.M.

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Juana de la Merced, AR

78
  • All day
    January 8, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Ian Anthony Espartero
    Sr. Leticia Cerdeño, AR
    Fray Jay- Jasper Jamelo (simple prof)

    ANNIVERSARY OF EPISCOPAL ORDINATION
    (2002-2019)
    Most Rev. Julito Cortes, D.D. (Diocese of Dumaguete)

9
  • All day
    January 9, 2019

    FEAST OF THE BLACK NAZARENE

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Rosario Bianes, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Dominga Gargarita, AR

10
  • All day
    January 10, 2019

    ANNIVERSARY OF EPISCOPAL ORDINATION
    Most Rev. Victor Bendico (Diocese of Baguio)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Paulina de la Purisima Corazon de Maria, AR
    Sr. Ma. Luz Asuncion Nitura, AR

11
  • All day
    January 11, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Catalina Ruiz, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ma. Zita Lloren, AR

12
  • All day
    January 12, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Reynaldo Jaranilla

13
  • All day
    January 13, 2019

    BAPTISM OF THE LORD

    ANNIVERSARY OF EPISCOPAL ORDINATION
    (1998-2019)
    Archbp. Jose Palma, D.D. (Archdiocese of Cebu)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Mo. Rosario Rosales, AR

14
  • All day
    January 14, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Emilia Madrigal, AR

15
  • All day
    January 15, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Anthony Irineo
    Sr. Ma. Marcela de la Cruz, AR

16
  • All day
    January 16, 2019

    COMMEMORATION OF THE DEAD RELATIVES OF THE MEMBERS OF THE ORDER

    SSC-R MANILAs FOUNDATION CELEBRATIONS
    Inclusive dates: January 16-19, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Mo. Maria del Carmen, OAR (Bacolod) Sr. Zerah Cordero, AR

17
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    January 17, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Corvin Maturan

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Fray Cipriano Zubiri (1998-2019)
    Sr. Celedonia de la Santissima Trinidad, AR Sr. Cesaria Barbarona, AR

18
  • All day
    January 18, 2019

    WEEK OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY
    Inclusive Dates: January 18-25, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Joseph Dexter Palagtiosa

19
  • All day
    January 19, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Cleofe Maria Agua, AR

20
  • All day
    January 20, 2019

    FEAST OF THE STO. NIÑO

    FEAST OF ST. SEBASTIAN (MANILA & CAVITE COMMUNITIES, DIOCESE OF BACOLOD)

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Adelina Reyes, AR

21
  • All day
    January 21, 2019

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Urbano Galanido, Jr.
    Fray Jerome Virtudazo

22
  • All day
    January 22, 2019

    WORLD YOUTH DAY IN PANAMA

    Inclusive Dates: January 22-27, 2019 Theme: “I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” (Lk. 1:38)

    BIRTHDAY
    Most Rev. Victor Bendico, DD (Bishop of Baguio)

23
  • All day
    January 23, 2019

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO PANAMA

    Inclusive Dates: January 23-27, 2019

    DAY 1 – ROME-PANAMA

    9:35

    Departure by air from Rome/Fiumicino for Panama

    16:30

    Arrival at Tocumen International Airport in Panama

    Official welcome

    16:50

    Transfer to the Apostolic Nunciature

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Gertrudis del Pilar, AR
    Sr. Cresencia Vailoces, AR

24
  • All day
    January 24, 2019

    60th ANNIVERSARY (1959-2019) of the PROCLAMATION OF THE SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL
    DAY 2 – PAPAL VISIT TO PANAMA

    9:45

    Welcome ceremony at the main entrance of Palacio de las Garzas – Presidency of the Republic

    Courtesy visit to the President of the Republic in Palacio de las Garzas – Presidency of the Republic

    10:40

    Meeting with the Authorities, with the Diplomatic Corps and with Representatives of Society in Palacio Bolivar– Ministry of Foreign Affairs

    11:15

    Meeting with central american Bishops in the Church of San Francisco de Asis

    17:30

    Welcome ceremony and opening of WYD at Campo Santa Maria la Antigua – Cinta Costera

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Paz Bawagan, AR
    Sr. Faith Niña Fuertes, AR

25
  • All day
    January 25, 2019

    SOLEMNITY OF THE CONVERSION OF ST. PAUL
    DAY 3 – PAPAL VISIT TO PANAMA

    10:30

    Penitential liturgy with young detainees in the Centro de Cumplimiento de Menores Las Garzas de Pacora

    11:50

    Transfer by helicopter to the Apostolic Nunciature

    17:30

    Via Crucis with young people at Campo Santa Maria la Antigua – Cinta Costera

    ANNIVERSARY OF EPISCOPAL ORDINATION
    (1983-2019)
    Most Rev. Antonio Tobias, D.D. (Diocese of Novaliches)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ma. Lucia Sagmit, AR

26
  • All day
    January 26, 2019

    DAY 4 – PAPAL VISIT TO PANAMA

    9:15

    Holy Mass with the dedication of the altar of the Cathedral Basilica of Santa Maria la Antigua with priests, consecrated persons and lay movements

    12:15

    Lunch with young people in the San José Major Seminary

    18:30

    Vigil with young people at Campo San Juan Pablo II – Metro Park

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Cristopher Maspara

    ANNIVERSARY OF EPISCOPAL ORDINATION
    (2005-2019)
    Most Rev. Reynaldo Evangelista, D.D. (Diocese of Imus)

27
  • All day
    January 27, 2019

    66th WORLD LEPROSY DAY
    DAY 5 – PANAMA-ROME

    8:00

    Holy Mass for World Youth Day at Campo San Juan Pablo II – Metro Park

    10:45

    Visit to the Casa Hogar del Buen Samaritano

    Angelus

    16:30

    Meeting with the WYD volunteers in the Rommel Fernandez Stadium

    18:00

    Farewell ceremony at Panama International Airport

    18:15

    Departure by air for Rome

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Marilyn Cula, AR
    Sr. Remilyn Leonido, AR

28
  • All day
    January 28, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Louie Gabinete

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Fernanda del Pilar
    Sr. Ines Garcia, AR

29
  • All day
    January 29, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Francisca Rojas, AR

30
  • All day
    January 30, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Jonathan Caballero
    Sr. Angelica Fuentes, AR
    Sr. Pascualina Peral, AR

31
  • All day
    January 31, 2019

    INSTALLATION OF ARCHBP. ANGELITO R. LAMPON, OMI, D.D.
    Archbishop of Cotabato

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Josephine Ativo, AR

  

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