Teachers, educators: The modern day heroes
As we celebrate the World Teachers’ Day, we face the greatest question – how are our modern day heroes doing inside the four walls of their classrooms?
We all know that our teachers have played big roles to form us, to impart on us learnings that could make us better individuals as to who we are now.
They help us achieve our ambitions and career in life. A good teacher helps us to become good individuals and citizens. Teachers know that students are the future of the country. So the development of future of the nation is in the hands of the teachers.
But how about their welfare? Are they paid correctly? Do they have a lot of workload?
According to UNESCO, World Teachers’ Day 2018 will mark the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) that recognizes education as a key fundamental right and establishes an entitlement to free compulsory education, ensuring inclusive and equitable access for all children.
The theme for this year, “The right to education means the right to a qualified teacher,” will remind the global community that the right to education cannot be achieved without the right to trained and qualified teachers.
At present, a lot of challenges are being faced by the education sector, not only here in the Philippines, but around the globe. There is a shortage of teachers. And underpaid teachers, as well, especially in private companies.
Furthermore, UNESCO said that there are approximately 264 million children and youth still out of school around the world. In order to reach the 2030 Education Goals of universal primary and secondary education, countries need to recruit almost 69 million new teachers. This ‘teacher gap’ is more pronounced among populations that are considered vulnerable, such as girls, children with disabilities, refugee and migrant children, or poor children living in rural or remote areas.
In the Philippines, just recently, the Department of Education faced serious issues on the workload of teachers as there were reported suicides of school teachers due to pressure in school requirements, including the amount of tasks afforded to them. But DepEd is quick to defend itself that these requirements aimed to further improve its reporting system and not in any way linked to suicide.
This week, just on the night before the World Teacher’s Day celebration, DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones confirmed that there is no increase in the salary of the public school teachers due to budgetary constraints. And if there is an increase, it would mean additional taxes to be imposed to taxpayers. The plight now of 800,000 public school teachers would depend on how DepEd takes good care of them – ensuring that their welfare is properly addressed and that their social and mental health issues are well taken care of.
As we give them the recognition of their hard labors, sacrifices, and efforts to make us better individuals, our teachers deserve to be acknowledged and given more importance. It is not only this time of the year where we celebrate it, but in each and single day that we meet and encounter them.
Palawan media tour at Malacanang Palace with President Rodrigo Duterte (Center) and SAP Bong Go ( 9th from the left).