"sabi nga ni rizal, ang kabataan ang pag-asa ng bayan. pero ang mga guro ang pag-asa ng kabataan."
the plight of public school teachers amazes me to no end. it is no secret that
their salaries are far from what one would call adequate for daily living. their sacrifices are many, yet they have not been compensated enough.
picture this scenario: an average of 60 pupils per class, all unruly, in a room that lacks desks and chairs. one would need visual aids to stimulate kids to listen, but the only resource given is a measly 300-peso chalk allowance for the year. to check the students' performance, one would have to give quizzes, exams, and homeworks. imagine checking 60 papers. or counting 60 children on a field trip. or having 60 children talking all at the same time during recess. or making 60 children understand the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic. and having only about 4 thousand pesos as net income every month, even after 25 years of service in the profession.
it amazes me how much they sacrifice. but we only remember them when they serve during the elections. they are grilled at the decline of the quality of education, an issue brought up at the start of every school year, but are they the only ones to blame?
every year we read stories that tell of the dilapidated education system: lack of resources, lack of manpower and skills, corrupt upper officials, meager education budget... but is it just these things?
a large percentage of filipino parents count on teachers to educate their children, to give their children the dream of better lives. this teacher that we interviewed stated that education is the key to the success of this country. but where is success when education does not succeed?
it is not merely these long-standing issues that undermine the state of education today. rather, it is the neglect of priorities and the lack of value for those that matter most.
it seems to me that this government, no, this country, does not give esteem to the people behind the curtains: the teachers. we have doctors, nurses, engineers, lawyers, OFWs abroad, and they have been taught and inspired by teachers.
just compensation is what they call for, yet we deem it too much for what they do. they live in poverty and under debts, and it is shameless that their lives are such, while the people whom they have taught live in comfort.
we leave it up to them to teach the leaders of tomorrow, but if the educational system falls apart, one easy way out is to blame them for their lack of skills.
to value our teachers, the soldiers at the frontlines, is to value the hope that the children have for an education.
Labels: musing this life and this world