One of the 1,800 students at Hope's Star School in Taytay, the Philippines, which is now on the summer vacation, is Lean, she is 10 years old. She finished grade four with good grades and looks forward to the next school year.
"It went well last year, and I hope to improve my grades more next year. My favorite subjects are Philippine language and Natural Sciences, says Lean.
The school is popular and crowded. Hope's Star is expanding the school and hopefully, the new school building will be completed in 2019. This local area, Taytay, grows and the pressure is hard for the local schools to accept more students. We want to help as many people as possible and for several years we have two shifts in school, a morning shift for high school and an afternoon shift for elementary school. Lean goes to primary school and goes to school in the afternoons. She starts at 12.40 and school day is over 6pm. It takes her 20 minutes to walk to and from school.
"...me and some friends from school walk together, we live in a fairly quiet area, but the last bit to school we have to go along the highway. It's a little scary, but we help each other", says Lean.
It's good that Lean takes her schooling seriously and does her best. She dreams of becoming a teacher when she grows up.
Like many other children in Lean's age, one has to help in the household. Lean usually sweeps the floor indoors and also in front of the door to the home. She also caters for family meals. The house consists of cement blocks and plywood.
"Before I go to school, I help at home, then I do the homework. Everyone in the family must help. My brothers pick up water for example.
In the Philippines, dance and singing are an important part of daily life. So even for Lean. On the school's anniversary in January, the "Foundation Day" or the foundation day is organized. Then all classes put up in a dance competition and compete against each other. There are different traditional dances from different parts of the country being danced. Lean's class took first place this year among elementary school courses.
"It's always fun to dance on the anniversary day and this year we won, it was great fun. We trained hard and won, "Lean said.
Now during the summer holidays, Lean has also been in summer camps with some schoolmates. There they had to play, and learn different new things and of course, relax. Now she is awaiting school start on June 13 playing with friends.
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