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Beating ‘Flyday’: How learners in remote Abra school break Friday burnout

BUCAY, Abra (PIA) -- Fridays are sometimes called “fly days.” It is the day when students, and even employees are likely to be absent or leave the school or office early as motivation levels are already depleted, or as they look forward to the weekend. 

But for the learners of a remote barangay here, they have learned a way to beat the lazy Friday syndrome. 

At the Bangcagan Primary School (BPS) in barangay Bangcagan, which is five kilometers away from the  Bucay municipal town hall, two confined classrooms serve as the learning space for 37 learners from kindergarten to grade 3. Such conditions can be depressing for young children, especially with the warm climate of Abra.

Challenged by the limited school facilities, BPS school principal Mary Hazel Ballena thought of a way to keep the interest of the learners in staying in school, especially on Fridays. The novel idea was to conduct classes outside the classroom setup. 

“Through the generous hearts of our stakeholders, we are able to put up around 100 pieces of “indayon" and these are mounted in the trees around the school’s premises, creating the Indayon Park for our students,” Ballena shared.

LOOK: Students of Bangcagan Primary School get to enjoy a new learning environment every Fridays at their Indayon Park. (CAGT - PIA CAR, Abra)

"Indayon" is an Iluko term for hammock.  

Dudua ti classroom ditoy accommodating K to 3, that’s why we established the Indayon Park, where students can de-stress, makatulong pay ti environment ken government ta makainot ti kuryente nu agklase kami ditoy ruar,” she explained.

[We have only two classrooms accommodating learners from K to 3, that’s why we established the Indayon Park where students can de-stress. It also helps the government,  and environment by conserving electricity when we hold our classes outside.] 

Every Friday at the school’s Indayon Park, teachers and learners get along together, creating a new learning environment outdoors. It is a ‘No Chalk Day’ for the school.

Zumba dance, storytelling, reading, singing, recitation, and other physical activities are some of the things that the students get to enjoy every Friday at BPS. 

Making learning fun and engaging for kids need not  be costly; it can be achieved in simple and budget-friendly ways.

Parent Maribel Alagao appreciated the impact of this innovation on the children. 

Aglalo nu Biernes, aglaladot da ta excited da ti weekend ngem idi adda activities da iti Indayon Park da, naliwliwada ket natulonganda nga agi express ti sarilida ta every Friday gamin ket  ‘No chalk day,’ Alagao said.

[Especially on Friday, the children feel lazy because they are excited for the weekend, but ever since they have activities at Indayon Park, they are  excited, and they learn  to express themselves freely because every Friday is a ‘no chalk day’.]

Ballena said their Indayon Park ‘classroom’ supports the Department of Education’s “Catch-up Fridays” program, which aims to strengthen the foundational, social, and other relevant skills of learners necessary to actualize the intent of the basic education curriculum. (CAGT-PIA Abra)

LOOK: Learners of Bangcagan Primary School wear their PE uniforms to loosen up in their "Catch Up Friday" activities. (CAGT - PIA CAR, Abra)

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Christian Allister Tubadeza

Cordillera Administrative Region

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