PSD officially opens campus in Mesaimeer
06 Oct 2017 - 1:07
By Raynald C Rivera / The Peninsula
It was a double celebration for Philippine School Doha (PSD) yesterday as it marked its 25th founding anniversary with the official inauguration of its permanent campus in Mesaimeer.
The occasion was made special with the presence of founding parents and former Board of Trustees and embassy officials including former ambassador to Qatar Crescente R Relacion, who was instrumental in securing the land where the school sits.
“Our celebration of the quarter of a century’s existence of the School is made more significant as we inaugurate PSD’s permanent and beautiful campus nestled in a 14,375sqm of lot in the new development in Qatar, at Mesaimeer,” said Relacion, currently Head of Mission in the Philippine Embassy in Damascus, Syria who flew in as guest of honour at the event.
Acknowledging the people behind the success of the school, Relacion looked back with nostalgia on his five-and-a-half year tour of duty in Qatar he called “the most memorable and productive assignment in my almost 30 years in the foreign service” having left several legacies including the establishment of the United Filipino Organisations in Qatar (UFOQ) and the realisation of the grant of the school’s land.
The plot of land was allotted by the Qatari government following the state visit of former Philippine president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to Doha in December 2008. PSD is now the first Philippine school that has its own permanent campus in the history of Philippine Schools Overseas, thanks to the generosity of the Qatari government.
“All of these will not be possible without the generosity of our host country Qatar, through Father Emir H H Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, for granting the piece of land on which the PSD building is now standing. Our community in Qatar is very fortunate to have such a supportive host government which recognizes the valuable contribution of Filipinos in the development of this country,” said Ambassador Alan L Timbayan.
Timbayan urged Filipinos “to continue to work within the established rules and regulations of the host country in order to show our appreciation for this grand gesture,” and assured PSD of the Embassy’s support in its pursuit for educational excellence for Filipino children here.
The day was marked with a series of unveilings of PSD’s state-of-the-art facilities named after the school’s founders and supporters including the Edgar V.Bondoc Gymnasium, Crescente R Relacion Audio-Visual Room, Harry Kieswetter Library and Roberto Abit Science Laboratories.
The three-storey building also features 132 classrooms and an Olympic-size swimming pool. In its first year of operation in the new campus, PSD has a total enrollment of 3,969 students, just a few hundred shy of its full capacity of 4,500 students.
Looking ahead, Relacion urged the Board of Trustees to continue exercising benevolent leadership and transparency in leading PSD and wished the school success in the next 25 years and beyond.
“I pronounce blessings upon blessings on the men and women behind this beloved institution as you affirm your vision of producing globally competitive, empowered, adaptable, effective, nation builders, experienced and result-oriented, in short, a learner in the 21st century with inherent values of honesty and propriety that is tempered with prudence and divine wisdom,” he said. Jose Z. Molano Jr., former executive director of Commission of Filipinos Overseas and Rawda Safwan Hosni Zidane, Director of the Private Schools Affairs Department at the Ministry of Education and Higher Education were among the guests at the event which also saw the attendance of ASEAN ambassadors and other VIP guests.
The PSD Timeline, which traces the history of the school, and the Wall of Gratitude where the names of people who have supported the school’s projects through the years are inscribed, were also unveiled yesterday.