Young student having online class on a hill in Bohol goes viral


A young boy in Alicia, Bohol has found the perfect spot for his online classes as COVID-19 forced schools across the country to shift to virtual classrooms.

Arvin Jay Curangcurang, a Grade 2 student at Advance Christian Academy, can be seen taking his lessons through a borrowed cellphone in a “tree house” his family had to build on a hill where the signal is strong enough for his online schooling.

In a Facebook post that has since gone viral, his aunt Giecel Marie Curangcurang shared how they found ways to work around the challenges of adapting to online learning.

In Cebuano, she wrote, “Kung way signal, aw mangita. Mao tong naghimo mi ug tree house/payag nga gamay sa buntod tunga-tunga pa gyud sa toril sa mga baka?.”

(If there’s no signal, then we find one. That’s why we built a tree house/small hut on a hill, in the middle of a pastureland for cows.)

“Kumusta signal? Okay raman, kusog man pud. Tugnaw lang kaayo kay kusog hangin kay buntod man. Katugon ang studyante sa kabugnaw?.”

(How’s the signal? It’s okay, it’s also strong. It’s just really cold because of the strong wind as we’re on a hill. Our student is sleepy due to the coldness.)

According to Giecel, who serves as one of the kid’s guardians while his parents are working in Manila as security guard and factory employee, the place has somehow provided an ideal setting for their young learner.

Arvin Jay could concentrate on the discussion because of the peace and quiet, plus, she mused the surroundings are “free of noise coming from the videoke.”

“#LabanLang,” she ended her post.

In an interview with The STAR‘s Latest Chika, Giecel shared that they ended up in the elevated area due to signal problems at their home.

“We ended up on a hill because there’s no network signal at our place. The online classes have already started and I pity the child because he couldn’t join them. So we built a tree house where we could find a signal,” she said in a mix of English and Cebuano. 

She added that her nephew attends his online class in the morning for four hours a day (Monday to Wednesday with individual coaching every Thursday), borrowing the cellphone of Giecel’s younger sibling who in turn uses the gadget at night.

“Nanghuwam ramis akong manghud, ang bata sa adlawan ang manghud nako sa gabie.”

Kung way signal, aw mangita. :Mao tong naghimo mig tree house/payag nga gamay sa buntod tunga2x pa gyud sa toril sa…

Posted by Giecel Marie on Tuesday, 18 August 2020

Despite difficulties, Giecel told The STAR that her nephew enjoys the online classes especially because he gets to see his classmates and teachers. She’s very thankful to the staff at his school for being understanding when he missed the first week of online classes and was only able to do the learning modules.

Meanwhile, she never expected her post to go viral. She only learned that it did two days later when she had network signal to access the Internet.

As of writing, the post she uploaded on Facebook last Tuesday has 6,000 reactions and over 5,900 shares, with most taking note of the boy’s determination to study, support of his family and the “classroom setup”.

Giecel just hopes that it brings a little inspiration and hope to those who have stopped or lost interest in schooling amid the pandemic.

She said, “Maningkamot lang gyud ta, kakugi ra gyud ang puhonan. Dili babag ang kawad-on ug labawng dili babag ang kahinay sa signal para makaswela karong naay COVID-19.”

(Let’s just try our best, hard work is our only investment. Not having anything in life is not a hindrance, more so having poor cellphone signal, to be able to study during this time of COVID-19).

The Department of Education recently announced that the opening of the next school year has been reset to October 5.

In a report, it also clarified that private and other non-DepEd elementary and high schools can begin at an earlier date, or resume if they have already started with the school year, provided that they are employing distance learning methods and not having face-to-face interaction.