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(From Philippine Daily Inquirer)
Byline: Juan L. Mercado
"Whoever can handle a writing brush will never need to beg." - Chinese proverb.
In a sixth class town, in remote Northern Samar, 457 students handle writing brushes so well their school has walloped over 5,000 public high schools in the National Achievement Tests two years in a row. Lope de Vega National High School may head the pack again.
Staffed by 15 teachers, mostly with master's degrees, this provincial school topped the country-wide exams in 2003 and 2004. It trounced high-profile schools in centers like Manila, Cebu and Cagayan de Oro.
But then, so have other small, little-known but high-performing schools: Batanes National Science High, in northernmost Basco, and Tawi-Tawi School of Arts and Trade in the country's southernmost island. In Bongao, you can see on a clear day, …