Celebrating the birth of a school in Bucaramanga
Author: Amanda Guerrero
Excerpt: English Teaching Fellow, Amanda Guerrero, accounts her experience of the seventh anniversary of the IE Bicentenario de la Independencia school in Bucaramanga.
To start my post I would like to explain that I come from a pretty similar culture but Colombian schools still have different things compare to my high school years and I have to admit I like a lot of what I’ve seen.
The IE Bicentenario de la Independencia was founded seven years ago, in March. In spite its short life it is one of the best Public Schools in Bucaramanga. On March, 4th 2016, with no previous notice, at least on my side, they had a celebration for the school’s anniversary. I really love these types of events in school because the students have to wear their gala uniform. They hate it but I fell for it the first time I saw it because in my country we don’t have gala uniforms, only the regular one.
That day there was a mass. Around 9:00am the students were ask to gather in the central area of the school. I thought the mass was going to be held in the court but to my surprise the students were asked to, slowly and as organized as possible, leave the school to go to a church, two blocks away from the school. It was amazing to see how all the students went to the church, filling up the street from side to side. I couldn’t help to ask them “How come none of you runs away during this kind of activities?” to which they answered that the school has cameras and they are being checked. I asked again because the cameras can only see one block, “what happens when you are out of the camera range?” This answer made me laugh for a while. They told me that the neighbors of the area would tell the school personnel if they ran away. Basically the neighbors are gossipers.
During the mass, some kids read petitions about classes and teachers. They sang pretty animated songs and they all clapped. Another interesting thing was seeing all this white and burgundy sea, kneel down at the same time. Again I have the same religion as most Colombians do, but in my school we were never this obedient or religious.
After the mass and still inside the church, there was a protocol act with flags and anthems, four of each to be exact: Colombia, Santander, Bucaramanga and the School. The kids holding these flags didn’t know where to place themselves for the anthems and after, it was pretty funny to see them fold the flags again. Also in this part of the event the Principal talked and the students from the “Cuadro de Honor” were awarded due to their grades. Interesting note, 7 of the 10 students are in my classes and they are really, really good.
Remember when I said the school is one of the best in Bucaramanga, well it is actually the 4th school nationwide in terms of the students grades and for this, the 10th grade students were selected to participate in the YMCA immersion program held at the Coffee Region.
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