Coinciding with the opening of classes this month, I'm coming up with a series of articles that would talk about the current state of Philippine education. When I say here the 'state of Philippine education' it encompasses all issues related to it: from the conditions of our classrooms to the attitude of today's youth and the view of Philippine society today towards getting 'an education.'
Ito ang aking maliit na kontribusyon upang i-angat ang kalagayan at siguro panibaguhin kahit papaano ng sistemang pangedukasyon sa Pilipinas.
Eversince, I always have high regard for our teachers - especially the teachers that had shared their life to 'educate' me. So before anything else, I would like to express my gratitude to the following teachers who had changed my life and how I view it.
I would be always thankful to my teacher in elementary who had opened me up to never wane in loving this nation. Her lessons in HEKASI made me somehow a 'nationalistic' kid. It was also at this point that I made up my mind on what I wanted to be when I grow up: to be the next President of the Philippines.
I would be always thankful to my English teacher in high school who made me 'discover' my passion for writing and for 'firing' up my 'nationalistic' sentiment against those who see our country as 'hopeless', She also had acceoted me to be a part of our school paper then despite my belief that my skills in writing is lamentable unlike the other applicants. (Off topic: I would also like to thank the editors of our school paper then for allowing all of my articles to be published - it was the first time I got to see my work in print and have let others read it.)
I would also be forever to my Math teacher in high school that scolded me for snickering at a classmate who had answered wrongly to her question. Because after that I wasn't also able to answer her question, she told me "O ayan tamo, di ka rin makasagot." But the real story is that everyone else also laughed - even louder than what I did. Siguro, napaginitan lang ako saka kasi magkatabi kami. Tas siguro pangit gupit ko nun, haha.. :D Defensive. :D But seriously, that single 'embarrasing' event made me more careful in my acts and I seldom snicker when someone commits a mistake.
I would also be forever thankful to my History professor in my previous school (UP) that taught me to love reading books. She also made me realize that I won't be able to write well unless I have been a avid reader of books.
But most of all, I would always be forever thankful to my first teacher, ang aking pinakamamahal na nanay, Mrs. Milagros P. Lim.
Well actually, she is indeed a teacher - a public high school Biology teacher to be exact. She had been in the teaching profession for almost 30 years now. Madami nang mga estudyante ang dumaan sa kanya. Sa dami ba naman ng kanilang load, kaunti na siguro iyung 300 estudyante and tuturuan niya kada taon. In fact, there had been a lot of occassions wherein we would 'stumble upon' some of her former students who still recognize her. If you're going to ask me if she is a 'terror' teacher, well, I'm proud to say that my mother is a very kind and considerate teacher.
Hindi dahil sa anak niya ako kaya ko nasabi un ah. :D Halimbawa na lang, sino bang teacher ang itetext pa ang estudyante niya na pumasok naman para maayos ang grade niya? O di ba? :D
But what I'm really proud of her is that despite the low pay and the ungratefulness of this government - especially the GSIS - of the services she rendered for the past 30 years, she still commits random acts of kindness to her students. If one of her students does not have something to eat, she buys something for him/her. If her student's mother is selling guavas or mangos, she would buy from her. That way she could help the student to stay at school and would not opt to drop out.
Better yet, my mother is not the only one whose doing it. These random acts of kindness that are also seen in all teachers across all public schools in the Philippines.
That's why, in my own opinion, they are really the 'New Heroes' of this God-forsaken land. They do not bring in billions of dollars to uplift the economy, but they infuse trillions of hope in their students that would ensure us that there's still a bright future that awaits us all.
Yet despite of that, they don't get what they deserve.
They would instead get sometimes, insults from their students.
They would instead get low salary with lots of deductions.
For public school teachers, they would instead get no retirement benefits because of their social security agency's 'unbelievable schemes' and failure to process their benefits FAST.
They would instead be killed because of protecting the sanctity of the ballot.
They would even sometimes get harassed by parents because they had just 'disciplinec' their stubborn and hard-headed children.
And because of these things, they would be 'forced' by the circumstances, to either pursue their career abroad, be a call center agent here and worse - leave their lesson plans, pick up the mop and work as a domestic helper in Hong Kong or Saudi.
What a 'great' way to thank our educators.
UP NEXT: The Student's Pledge