A teacher’s worth

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By Nef Luczon

Pencalibur

Monday, July 14, 2014


“IF YOU are grateful, I shall certainly give you increase” – Qur’an (Ibrahim) 14:7

***

LAST July 9, Wednesday, I witnessed for the first time the awarding ceremony for the search for “Most Outstanding Public School Teacher Award (Mopsta),” organized by the Rotary Club of West Cagayan de Oro in partnership with the Department of Education Region 10.

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Thanks to Mr. Clifford P. Roa, a rotary member himself and an active media relations to the socio-civic groups he is affiliated, for inviting me to the event that has been awarding public school teachers for already 32 years.

For the (school) year 2013-2014, the winner is from Doña Juana A. Lluces Memorial Central School in Palao, Iligan City, 34-year-old Enerio E. Ebisa who earned a Doctor in Philosophy in Education Planning Management, and has been teaching for more than 12 years now.

Ebisa must have garnered more merits that meet the sets of standards made by the organizers compared to his co-finalists, and I was told that the selection was rigorous that other than credentials presented by the teacher being nominated, they were also undergo series of interviews and actual visits to their classrooms.

We are not new to the tales we learned and knew on how crucial and poetic the role of teachers in our society, more so in a country like ours, where public school teachers experience diverse struggles into their daily lives, and at times we witness the passion that’s burning from these teachers to reach to children in a hope to give them education in order for them to be ready with what society is expected of us to become.

That, despite the meager salaries they were receiving (especially to those in the lower ranks), but because of dedication and their vocation, they still do it anyway.

Teachers like Ebisa and the finalists and past winners of Mopsta also reminds me of Ms. Charlotte Alinsub, 26, who started to work as volunteer teacher for kindergarten pupils in her village in Dansolihon, Cagayan de Oro City as soon as she graduated in Golden Heritage College in 2009 with a degree in Elementary Education.

I met her while making a video featurette commissioned by Directories Philippines Corporation last June about a Catholic parish church in Digkilaan, Iligan City and its Tanzanian national parish priest, Fr. Adam J. Bago, who leads in reaching out to communities not just on Christians but also to Lumads and Muslims as well.

Alinsub could have been the next Miss Cagayan de Oro or any beauty pageant titlist, given her fair, flawless skin; pink cheeks and lips, and most of all, a dark mesmerizing eyes; but instead ramping on stage she prefers to be with the Higaonon children in Sitio Binasan in Barangay Digkilaan, to teach them, guide them; a place where it was said that even government presence is seldom felt, except to a mining company that was once there but later fled.

With this calling, Alinsub (at first she was with her sister, who also is a teacher) has to cross borders from Cagayan de Oro in a shortcut from Brgy. Dansolihon going to Binasan which is already part of Iligan City, traversing the rocky, almost impassable roads, and crossing rivers and streams.

It’s also not new to us hearing teachers climbing mountains and going to remote areas to teach children, as this has been true to our country for many years. Alinsub is one of the few who brave to go to these places, despite potential risks to her safety.

But because of a sole purpose to educate young minds, distance and obstacles were not a problem.

[Email: nefluczon@gmail.com]

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on July 14, 2014.

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