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Fighting Poverty the Teacher’s Way

There’s no doubt that most of the teachers are economically poor, but it’s lamentable how they solve this problem. It’s obvious that the mass leave action, demanding for salary increases and other benefits, is a borrowed strategy from the laborers, most of whom are educationally handicapped. Thus, the laborer becomes the teacher’s teacher while it should be the other way around.

How good is the strong-willed laborer as a teacher? He goes on demanding until business closes shop, this making the unemployment problem worse and adding more burden to the nation’s economic and peace and order crises.

It’s not the striking laborer who should be the teacher’s model but Bernabe Buscayno, the former Kumander Dante. Teachers should fight poverty constructively, not on a piecemeal or personal basis, but through massive cooperativism as what Buscayno is now doing; and it’s a shame for teachers that Buscayno did not need a college degree to do this thing.

National teachers-leaders are aware that the teacher’s group is a gigantic force if well-organized. Recent developments show that there’s a big hope for teachers to be organized into one nationwide body. Provincial organizations now join Metro Manila teachers in their plight. But such force should not be used to cripple public service. If political leaders do not sympathize with the teachers through concrete results, the national organization can spread it around and that may be the end of the politicians’ career. Teachers can still apply pressure without abandoning their classrooms.

Teachers should solve poverty the teacher’s way. It’s a unified action embracing national, provincial and municipal levels by which the public has no alternative reaction but to admire and learn and duplicate. It’s a massive concerted action which both DEPED officials and teachers believe and are determined to pursue together, not the present scenario where the teachers are on one side while officials are on the opposite side. It’s a decisive action, a once-and-for-all remedy, instead of teachers going back to the streets everytime there are commodity price increases.

The teachers should be once again and always the laborer’s teacher. What’s the use of teaching economics, livelihood and cooperative education if teachers cannot do what they teach? The key words are “organization and production”, not “demands and coercion”. But then, DEPED national leadership should not just wait for clamors from the field. It should show and clear the way.

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