Teacher in Misamis Oriental shares heart-wrenching story of absentee student

Teacher in Misamis Oriental shares heart-wrenching story of absentee student

CEBU CITY, Philippines—When you were still a student, what was the most challenging part of your day?

Most would say getting up early in the morning, while others would say cramming for an exam or finishing some homework.

But in this story, a pupil from Misamis Oriental has been skipping school not because he is sick, or just too tired to go to school, but because he is needed by his younger siblings at home.

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Rita Mae Jailo Labadan-Abejuela, teacher from Cala-cala Cogon Balingasag, Misamis Oriental, took to her Facebook page as she shared a heart-wrenching story behind one of her students.

In her post, Abejuela shared that she asked the parents of her student, Jemuel, 9, to come to see her so she could talk to them about Jemuel being consistently absent from school recently.

Melchor, 55, father of Jemuel showed up and explained why his son was always absent.

Melchor explained that Jemuel being the eldest, had to take care of his younger siblings while Melchor went out to work.

No one can look after his younger siblings because his parents are separated.

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Melchor explained further that he did not want Jemuel to miss out on school, but he had no choice but to let him watch over his siblings while he would go to work as an electrician around town.

Abejuela even shared that before their meeting the family only had salt and rice to eat.

There was this one time when Jemuel showed up in school asking Abejuela if he could go home earlier than the others because he just left his siblings in their house, who were still sleeping and would want to get back to them before they would wake up.

“It is really heartbreaking to see my pupil unable to attend to school because of poverty,” said Abejuela.

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As a teacher, Abejuela is concerned with the learning development of Jemuel especially when it comes to reading.

Since the post went viral last March 15, help poured in for the family.

“Iyang father na gabantay sa iyaha mga manghod for now. Naa naman sila stock na food etc. sa karon but c tatay electrician man sya sa brgy. Anytime japon tawagon sya,” she added.

(His father, for now, is watching over his younger siblings for now. They have food for now but his father, (is) an electrician of the barangay. He can be called to work anytime.)


This story might not just be happening to Jemuel and his family, but might also be happening to someone in your community, lend a hand, be the blessing they need and who knows your single act of kindness might go a long way for a family like Jemuel’s family.

TAGS: absentee student, Misamis Oriental, poverty
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