BEFORE the saga of Teacher Tony continues, let me insert events that have come to light, days ago in the frontage but outside, the gate of Baguio City National High School. Some members of the party-list Alliance of Concerned Teachers were giving campaign leaflets, when one familiar face pops up -- Jeanette R. Cawiding, third nominee of the ACT party-list. I remembered Mrs. Cawiding when she was still Miss Ribaya. She delivered social science lectures to the DOST scholars way back in 1996. In one of her lectures, she instructed each in the class to enumerate on the board and explain some good and bad activities in the society. I was fresh from high school then and I merged with boys who wanted to sit at the back, of which by nature will purposely craft some naughty or foolish ideas. When it was my turn to write on the board, the side for bad activities was full and so I wrote marijuana cultivation in the good side. With a provincial tone and bended English, I tried harder to look at every angle on how to turn a bad activity into a good one. And Eureka! I uttered, partaking marijuana leaves, will lead one to float in heaven. All the boys and some naughty girls are giggling at the back and I thought the pretty Miss Ribaya will get mad. As it turned out, she clarified that there will be no wrong or correct answers and marijuana cultivation was a result of neglected economic conditions and the rising prices of commercial medicine and services. She went on to say that if some goods were taken excessively, it becomes a poison in the body. I was saved and we were so amazed, not only of her good explanation but with her eyes and smiles as well. And so I was a little furious when she looks older now, but on second taught, it might be my eyes that got older. Maybe, I need to have a word with Hon. Jose P. Cawiding, her husband and our former mentor in ADR (Arbitration Dispute Resolution).
Good for her if she will soon have a seat in Congress. When ACT party-list started to be noisy in Manila, taxes for the thousand lowly rank teachers like me were taken out, chalk and uniform allowances were increased, and unnecessary school days were lessened. Good for parents too, because when teachers are paid excellently, students will not become the milking cow of the teaching profession. And when we talk about being noisy in Manila, there is a big difference between “fighting the government” and “fighting these people in the government.” Likewise, big differences exist among “fighting the greed and incompetence of these people in the government” and “fighting the root causes of the greed and incompetence of these people in the government.” Neglected public education accounts to be the highest contributory factor of these “root causes.” Studies conducted to prove this will only sharpen the claim. To simply verify it, you need to visit public school classrooms. For sure, you will see dilapidated chairs, overcrowded learners, error ridden textbooks, rights conscious but unruly learners and the worst are self-righteous head teachers to superintendents who believes -- they are doing their best to lessen the “root causes” when obviously little have been done.
Now to continue with the story of Tony, one reason was when Jack went to the field office of the civil service, just beside this lake; he was assisted by Nixau -- the man in charge. Nixau explained that the issues being complained of can be remedied in the same agency -- the DepEd. The civil service will not tend to any internal conflicts arising from or incidental to the DepEd organization. So Jack asked Nixau: Are Dishonesties and Negligence in DepEd considered as an internal conflict?
To be continued...