Yesterday (Wednesday) I drove our two older nieces, Lai Lai and Jeramie, into town to purchase school supplies and to register their attendance at the Calbayog City High School. The younger one (Lai Lai), a second year transfer student from another school, returned yesterday and told me that her older cousin Jeramie was assigned to a school clean-up detail, apparently as the result of an unreturned book from last year. She was to return on Friday to participate in this work detail. So when we sat down for breakfast this morning, I managed to get to the straight and skinny of it all….which is kind of like pulling teeth around here some days. Lai Lai was not exactly correct in her assessment of the situation it seems.
Jeramie, who is a High School Senior this year, explained to me that her work detail was not the result of the unreturned book, but was something all 4th year students participate in called “C.A.T.” When I asked her what that meant, she said she wasn’t sure. “Citizen Something or Something Training” is how she responded to me. So, Google being my friend, I finished my breakfast and went straight to the computer. I found out that C.A.T. is national program that was originally implemented as Preparatory Military Training (PMT) as provided for in Title III, Article I, Sec 52 of the National Defense Act, and was further termed Citizen Army Training in 1973 as per AFPR G 314 – 033.
It was again restructured and renamed “Citizenship Advancement Training” as per Department of Education Order No. 35, s. dated 2003. This training in accordance with the law, is required of all Fourth Year High School students as a program in both Public and Private Secondary Schools in the Philippines. It aims to enhance the student’s social responsibility and commitment to the development of their communities and helps to develop their ability to uphold law and order as they assume an active participation in community activities, and in assisting the members of the community especially, in times of emergency.
The three main components of C.A.T are:
COMPONENTS OF CAT:
- I. MILITARY ORIENTATION deals with the introduction and exposure of the learner to basic knowledge, unfamiliar situations and experiences as well as activities related to military.
- II. COMMUNITY SERVICE refers to any activity that helps achieve the general welfare and the betterment of life of the members of the community.
- III. PUBLIC SAFETY AND LAW ENFORCEMENT SERVICE (PSLS) encompasses all programs and activities which are contributory to the maintenance of peace and order, enhancement of public safety and encouragement in the observance of and compliance to laws.
All the three program components of C.A.T emphasize citizenship training and the encouragement of youth to contribute in the improvement of the general welfare and quality of life of the community, instilling patriotism, morals, virtues, respect for the rights of civilians and adherence to the constitution.
In addition, the program is designed to develop personal qualities and attributes essential to successful leadership. It is intended to install the students’ appreciation and deep feeling for the spirit and the true meaning of the motto – Honor, Loyalty, and Integrity.
No students can be exempted from this program and is a requirement for graduation. Performance in the C.A.T. is either PASS or FAIL.
So on Friday, my niece will begin her C.A.T. and will likely begin at the grass-roots level of Community Service. And because school doesn’t start until June 2nd, I guess C.A.T. needs to get an earlier start – attending to the business of cleaning and readying the school for opening day. There will definitely be some dusting, cleaning, sweeping, and mopping of the floors going on, and because these schools have no janitors, then I supposed somebody has to do it! I just hope this year they place just a little more emphasis on the environment and the law and order thingy while in the classroom. 😉