Thank You, Teacher-A A +A
By DP Limlingan
Monday, September 9, 2013
LAST Friday was the kick-off of the National Teachers' Month. This was after President Benigno Aquino signed Proclamation No. 242 declaring September 5 to October 5 of every year fitting for the said occasion.
As a tribute to our educators, the Department of Education has come up with a pin that says, "Thank you, teacher." This is somehow to give the teachers a token of gratitude for the services they render to make the young of our country educated to face the realities of life after they finish their time in the academe.
More than the pin, teachers in the country, whether teaching in government schools or in private academic institutions, deserves more words of gratitude considering their work that entails a lot of sacrifices despite their modest earnings.
Somehow, the government, over the years, has made their salaries a bit competitive. This is not to compensate for their hard work but only to address the fact that many of our educators would rather work in other countries as nannies or househelp, only for them to have much higher pay than their teaching jobs in the Philippines.
Many would choose to sacrifice and leave what is considered one of the noble professions in the world and be a “slave” to foreigners who would give them the pay to feed their families back home.
Somehow too, the workload of teachers has decreased as compared to the previous years because the government is hiring more teachers to add to the workforce that are in public schools. But then again, this does not justify the reason for them to stay in the country and be of service to Filipinos as the number of students also increase each year too.
Is it not that we have public school classroom shortages every June, the month that marks the opening of the school year?
While the government is hiring more teachers, it’s due to the increasing number of students but not purposely to lighten the load of teachers, as a breather for our workers in the academe.
Since time immemorial, teachers are known for their selfless dedication to their profession which others call as a vocation, to somehow make others realize how really hard it is to become an educator.
Is it not a fact that many teachers are forced to sell tocino and longganiza to their students and colleagues just to make ends meet? Well, a teacher who earns so much would not go far as to be a "vendor" in school, only if not for the need to augment what he is earning.
Teachers, just like other real public servants, deserve more than the words of gratitude in a pin. Aside from the usual appreciation, teachers should be given their long-deserved “break” not only to boost their morale but also their economic status. I haven’t heard yet of a teacher becoming a millionaire before his retirement.
More than the pin, teachers deserve appreciation too by way of improving their modest earnings and the betterment of their working conditions.
There are teachers who have to provide for their own chalks and blackboard erasers. There are teachers who have to satisfy themselves with cardboards as their electric fans. There are teachers who have to brave floods only for them to deliver the lessons for the day for their students.
While we recognize the appreciation of the government particularly the Department of Education for our teachers in this month-long celebration, it has to take this opportunity too to give our teachers what they truly deserve. This is not just about raising monetary compensation they get but about self-respect and the giving of high morale through economic packages and betterment of their work environments.
For their sacrifices, I want to say too, "thank you teacher."
Happy Teachers’ Month to all our educators.
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Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on September 10, 2013.