Ver­bal ac­co­lades are not enough

Panay News - - OPINION -

TEACH­ERS

are looked upon and her­alded as mold­ers of our youth and prime movers of the ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem. Yet, they are among the most un­der­paid pro­fes­sion­als in the coun­try. To­day, World Teacher’s Day, the Al­liance of Con­cerned Teaches – ar­guably the most vo­cal and mil­i­tant of all teach­ers’ as­so­ci­a­tions in the coun­try ad­vo­cat­ing for teach­ers’ rights and wel­fare – is stag­ing si­mul­ta­ne­ous ac­tiv­i­ties and protest ac­tions in var­i­ous re­gions. It will stress the im­per­a­tive and nec­es­sary up­grade to the salaries of our school teach­ers in recog­ni­tion of the sig­nif­i­cant and very crit­i­cal role they play in our so­ci­ety.

Teach­ers are in­valu­able to our so­ci­ety. The im­por­tance of their com­mit­ment to mold the char­ac­ter and val­ues of the youth can­not be overem­pha­sized. They are like­wise most reliable in serving the gen­eral wel­fare, no­tably when they serve dur­ing elec­tion pe­riod and when they aid the Philip­pine Sta­tis­tics Au­thor­ity in gath­er­ing data from house­holds across the coun­try.

In 1994, the United Na­tions Ed­u­ca­tional, Sci­en­tific and YES­TER­DAY, Cul­tural Or­ga­ni­za­tion de­clared the fifth day of Oc­to­ber as World Teacher’s Day in recog­ni­tion of the nu­mer­ous sac­ri­fices of teach­ers all over the world. And so on this special day, we pay trib­ute to our teach­ers – our so-called sec­ond par­ents. Our es­teemed ed­u­ca­tors are known for their hard work, ded­i­ca­tion and sac­ri­fices.

Qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion re­quires well- trained teach­ers with de­cent salaries. Sadly, years of gov­ern­ment un­der-spend­ing on ed­u­ca­tion have re­sulted in the ero­sion of teach­ers’ salaries. We see many of them sell­ing food stuff, ready- to- wear clothes and cos­met­ics in­side the class­room just to aug­ment their mea­ger in­come. Oth­ers have cho­sen to work abroad or even to work as call cen­ter agents. Yes, teach­ers and their fam­i­lies are suf­fer­ing from the steep in­crease in the cost of liv­ing brought about by the sky­rock­et­ing prices of rice and oil.

Ver­bal ac­co­lades are not enough. Our teach­ers, who con­tinue to en­dure the dis­mal con­di­tions of shortages in school fa­cil­i­ties, mea­ger ben­e­fits, hard­ships and sac­ri­fices for the well-be­ing of the youth, de­serve wor­thy com­pen­sa­tion, more ben­e­fits and greater pro­tec­tion.

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