Jenelyn Baylon, an ALS implementer in Naujan, Mindoro Oriental, is one of the four recipients in this year's Bato Balani Foundation's "Many Faces of the Teacher" Awards. Jen is one of our ALS(60) Content Development Reviewers. She was also an active participant in the Trainers' Training for the eSkwela Teacher Training Course held early this year. She has become a staunch supporter of eSkwela in Mindoro Oriental, pushing for the project's implementation through local community support.
Congratulations Jen, from the the entire eSkwela family!
Excerpt from Bato Balani's blog:
"Jenelyn Baylon is a Mobile teacher from Naujan, Oriental Mindoro. She travels distances to reach her students and as with all mobile teachers, they handle multi-level and multi-grade students and classes."
Excerpt from Inquirer.net (Eureka! article entitled "Teacher heroes get the accolade they deserve" by Queena Lee, posted 9/22/2008)
Following in the footsteps of Fr. Dinter is Jenelyn Baylon, who rides her motorcycle for hours (even when pregnant) to reach Mangyan communities. Fording mountains and streams, Baylon brings much-needed resources to the tribes, such as cell phones and modern tools.
She conducts night sessions on basic and functional literacy for out-of-school youths and adult learners. She trains them on cell phone repair, electric arc welding, recycling. She initiated the Barangay Solid Waste Management Council and Materials Recovery Facilities for the Mangyans.
Baylon’s goal is to help the Mangyans raise their heads high. She discusses with them the Indigenous People’s Rights Act, and teaches them to be proud of their heritage.
Excerpt from GMANews.TV ("Four 'Faces' of teaching honored in Pasay Cityby Mark Meruenas, posted 9/28/2008):
Passion and commitment are the exact same reasons why “mobile teacher" Jenelyn Baylon, the first awardee, is staying on the profession, despite having to brave rugged roads on a motorcycle in her native Mindoro just to hold house-to-house class sessions.
“Iyong mga kabataan na hindi na tinatanggap sa loob ng paaralan, iyon ang minamahal namin," said Baylon, whose “Alternative Learning System" curriculum ranges from solid waste management to the Indigenous Human Rights Act.
(Those out-of-school youths are dear to us.)
Being the youngest among this year’s awardees, Baylon, named at the event as “The Face of Patience," told GMANews.TV she was surprised she even got selected as a nominee, much less an honoree.
“Kanina, noong tinawag ako sa taas. Parang totoo ba ito? Eh maraming napakatanda na dapat sila muna (When they called me out on stage, I couldn’t believe it. I am so young and there are veteran teachers who are more deserving)," Baylon said.
However, she said she would use her recognition to encourage other “mobile teachers" to forgo plans to leave the profession.
So much is her dedication to work that even her pregnancy did not deter Baylon, a mother of one, from extending education to out-of-school youths.
“Hindi na sila tambay. Ngayon may iba sa kanila, nasa abroad na. Buhay at pagkatao ang aming naaayos (They are no longer idle. Some of them went abroad. We are helping them put their lives and well-being in order)," Baylon proudly said.