When a student was not able to attend his class, it is only a must for him to submit an excuse letter when he returns to the school. Teachers are used to receiving excuse letters for being sick, attending an errand, a family’s death, or an emergency.
However, a teacher from the Philippines was left not knowing how to feel after reading the heartbreaking excuse letter of one of his students.
The Grade 8 teacher named Christian Jay Ordoña from the Philippines recalled how he received the letter from his student who was absent for her morning classes.
According to the Filipino teacher, he was doing his own business when the 14-year-old Marinel De Guzman called for his attention. He approached the girl and asked why was she absent for an alarming number of days. Obviously, the teacher was concerned about the matter that might be affecting his student.
Marinel, the student, did not say anything. Instead, she shyly handed him a sheet of paper and ran into the classroom.
Bewildered at the behavior of his student, the teacher shrugged his shoulders and proceeded to open the letter. Not knowing that the answer to his concern would shatter his heart into pieces, he read its content.
[The student’s excuse letter, explaining why she was absent. Translation can be read below.]
And the letter reads:
July 9, 2018
Dear Sir Jay,
Sorry sir Jay, I was not able to come and attend my class this morning. I do not have food nor an allowance. It was just this afternoon that my mother was able to find money for us.
Marinel De Guzman
The teacher admitted that he was lost for words nor can he move. He described how his heart was broken into pieces after knowing about the circumstances of his student.
Marinel, the 14-year-old student who was not able to come to school due to financial concerns, is the 4th child in the family of 5 children. According to sources, her mother is a sorter of goods and vegetables.
Her father, on the other hand, supports their family by being a farmer and coal maker. Unfortunately, despite her parents juggling three jobs, their earnings of $2 per day are still not enough for the needs of their family.
The heartbreaking excuse letter of Marinel was posted on Facebook by teacher Jay. From the day that it was posted, it has reached 70,000 reacts and almost 20,000 shares. It gained a number of response from netizens who could not help but feel a tug on their heart as they have read about Marinel’s situation.
A number of netizens who learned about her story did not stop at leaving a comment. Other netizens actually looked and reached out for ways to be a blessing to a child who is fighting for her education. A lot of people has taken a pledge to the school’s foundation, Anak ng Bangobon Foundation, Inc. to send help to the child.
Marinel’s story of a child struggling to finish her education due to financial reasons is one of the million others. In fact, some people can’t help but share their own experiences being socially and financially disadvantaged while they tried and succeeded in attaining their diplomas. But just like how others overcame this problem, hopefully so will Marinel.
As of now, the foundation mentioned above will fund Marinel’s education fees until she finishes her bachelor’s degree. On top of that, she will also receive about $9 (PHP 500) weekly as an allowance to accommodate for her educational needs. A livelihood program was also offered to her parents for additional income.
According to the 14-year-old student, she dreams of becoming a teacher someday. That’s why she promised all of the people who helped her that she will not take the blessings she had received for granted.
“I promise to study hard and work hard for all of the people who helped me and my family.”
There are issues in life that we cannot simply ignore. One of these is the growing out-of-school youth, not only in the Philippines but all over the world as well. But isn’t it amazing how unfortunate circumstances could bring the best out of everyone?
If all of us will be able to extend a helping hand, we could be the bridge that others would cross over to reach their dreams and succeed in life. If everyone would be willing to be a blessing to others, what seems like a messy situation could transform into a testament of how powerful generosity, kindness, and compassion are.
Photo | ABS-CBN