School­ing school of­fi­cials

Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro - - Opinion - BY TY­RONE VELEZ

AC­TIV­I­TIES on the first day of school in­clude the get­ting to know you ses­sions and ori­en­ta­tion, but teacher Mari­cel Her­rera from Ba­coor, Cavite showed us a “get­ting-to-know-your-teacher” and “pic­ture your room” ses­sion that was so hon­estly painful.

It may be com­mon knowl­edge how bad pub­lic school fa­cil­i­ties are but her Face­book post of how she and fel­low teach­ers “ad­just” to con­vert their com­fort room to a fac­ulty of­fice, shows how truly bad it is.

But in­stead of get­ting ed­u­ca­tion of­fi­cials to no­tice and act on this prob­lem, the prin­ci­pal of that school threat­ened to sue Her­rera for dam­ag­ing the school.

Ed­u­ca­tion Sec­re­tary Leonor Bri­ones, when in­ter­viewed on this mat­ter, “scolded” teach­ers who pose these shots just for “dra­matic” ef­fect for me­dia. Why can’t they make fac­ulty rooms in science labs? She asked.

The lessons we learned here:

Teach­ers em­body that value of hon­esty. But not

every­one on the higher ups value that kind of hon­esty.

An­other les­son though, to bor­row a phrase, is that one flash of Face­book post can start a Face­book fire.

Soon, other pub­lic school teach­ers across the coun­try posted their pic­ture of a com­fort room or what­ever fa­cil­ity turned into a fac­ulty of­fice and along with that their sto­ries of sac­ri­fice to a greater goal of serv­ing the stu­dents who badly need ed­u­ca­tion to up­lift them­selves.

The Al­liance of Con­cerned Teach­ers point out that teach­ers have the right to ex­press the bur­dens they face in pub­lic schools, the dilem­mas of bu­reau­cracy and mis­matched so­lu­tions to ba­sic prob­lems such as lack of fa­cil­i­ties, text­books, cur­ricu­lum de­vel­op­ment and the un­ful­filled prom­ise from govern­ment to in­crease their salaries.

Here is a sol­i­dar­ity of teach­ers, ma­ligned by of­fi­cials, in­clud­ing our mayor here, who feel teach­ers have no right to de­mand what is just and what is due to them as pub­lic ser­vants.

There is a ques­tion of in­tegrity on both sides. As mil­lions of teach­ers sac­ri­ficed a lot for the next gen­er­a­tion, pub­lic of­fi­cials like Ed­u­ca­tion Sec­re­tary Bri­ones earn a yearly salary of P3.9 mil­lion and can only chew down on teach­ers for be­ing “dra­matic” and “lec­ture” them that salary is not an im­por­tant mo­ti­va­tion for teach­ing.

Schools are grounds for teach­ing val­ues of hon­esty and com­pas­sion.

Per­haps school of­fi­cials need to be grounded on these lessons.

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