MANILA, March 29, 2015—Following the controversy faced by Sto. Niño Parochial School (SNPS), its alumni issued a statement on Sunday, March 29, expressing their “full support” to their alma mater, noting that it has “provided excellent Catholic education to the youth” for the past five decades.
“We, alumni of SNPS, issue this statement to express our full support to our beloved Alma Mater, its administration, faculty, and staff, amid uncalled-for attacks on an educational institution that has strived to build a good reputation for the past five decades,” SPNS alumni said in a statement.
SPNS has been criticized recently for stopping high school salutatorian Krisel Mallari from delivering her speech during the school’s graduation rites in Quezon City last March 21.
Not knowledge, but character
In her speech, Mallari criticized the grading policies of the school and insinuated that she should have graduated batch valedictorian.
“With each year that passed by, I studied so hard in school, I believed in fair competition. Towards the end of this school year, I was just a step away from the finish line, but the red lace that will symbolize my success was gone—or was it intentionally taken?” Mallari said in Filipino.
Alumni of SPNS noted the importance of character in the lives of the faithful, stressing that it is an important aspect of one’s well-being, as compared with theoretical knowledge quantified through grades.
“One lasting lesson that has remained with us SNPS alumni is that, ‘The essential thing is not knowledge, but character.’ (Joseph Le Conte),” they said.
“As working professionals in various fields, we know that character is as important, if not more important, than the numbers on the report card. And as parents ourselves, we acknowledge that teachers function as second parents, responsible for the behavior of minors under their care,” they added.
Former students of SPNS testified on how their alma mater “provided excellent Catholic education to the youth” for nearly 50 years.
“We have witnessed how SNPS, like the grain of mustard seed in the [Gospel] Parables, has grown from a humble primary school established by Msgr. Miguel P. Nuguid and a group of pioneer teachers in 1967, to one of the leading K to 12 schools in the Diocese of Cubao Educational System,” they said.
“We seek the assistance of our dear Sto. Niño, our Help and Savior, to boost the morale of the SNPS community in this trying, but ultimately fleeting, episode. May all SNPS graduates, like the Child Jesus, ‘[increase] in wisdom and in stature, and in favor before God and man’,” they added. (Jennifer M. Orillaza/CBCP News)