Schooling school officials
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.