You must have heard of the infamous line “The children are our future” in either way as an excerpt from our own national hero Gat Jose Rizal or merely a lyrics from a song that carry a very meaningful message. Behind this very simple line, lies the substance of the most tedious profession on earth, and also the noblest of them all- Teaching. Teachers who will mold the future at a rate of 70 students/hour or more in a public school setting in the Philippines, alongside with the added responsibilities of indigenous community problems, all at their shoulders. Despite of the flaws in our educational system provided by our government, these teachers rise above all complexities to produce kids that will somehow make a difference in the society.
From every documentary there is on television to the simple sightings on the public school in our neighborhood, we can very much conclude that public school teachers carry a heavier burden when it comes to shaping the future. Once a year every October 5, we celebrate “The World Teachers Day” to commemorate the hardships of our dear teachers, though each of one believes that the appreciation can extend all-year long and preferably with monetary conversion.
The Senate must have been more than willing to implement proposed bills to give the public teachers in the Philippines a decent raise altogether with benefits but up to now none of the plans were actually realized. Where there is a will, there is a way and our government officials must step up to provide the teachers the increase that they deserve. Let us all be together in spreading the awareness of the noble deeds our public school teachers have always extended to their students. Here are the reasons why quality of teachers should never be undervalued and why they need to be in the pace of fastest growing salary among all the professions:
1. Extended working hours.
Full time teachers, based on our personal observation, don’t end their jobs exactly the same time as our classes ends. They provide extra time to those needing help that they actually stay longer at their respective schools. After which they have to bring home tasks such as lesson plans, create examinations, checking test papers and many more. While most of us enjoy our weekends, they can be doing extra jobs to compensate for the low salary from their teaching job and hence affect their quality of teaching. The government must enact on this one.
2. A public school teacher is an all-around worker/Jack of all trades.
We can be all aware of this one, especially the status of our rural school teachers that they do everything they can due to lack of manpower. They can be teaching this second, running for medication the next second when one student feels sick. In the middle of the rainy season, they can also provide the maintenance of the school rooms as they are concerned about the welfare of their students as they come to class. Apart from the tasks mentioned they also can extend to be a gardener, cleaner, a security guard depending on the degree of financial insufficiency of the rural area.
3. Being the Foster parents to their students.
They are the proactive counterpart of parents at school, come to think of it, students spend most of their time at school and this is where the role of the teachers comes in. The relationship between students and teachers sometimes reach the point that they become great influencers, which in turn produce a generation useful to the society. This is why we should always take care of the teachers’ outlook so they will exude it to their students and become effective second parents.
4. Paying for educational stuff with personal funds.
The government can continue to be blind about this, but it is a disturbing reality that the public school teachers must face every day of their teaching lives. The irresponsibility of our own government takes toll as the teachers themselves bridge the gaps of budget constraints to provide school materials for the kids, even the cost of the tuition fee themselves. Furthermore, just to promote the importance of going to school, they provide slippers for the barefooted students.
5. More Money, More Passion.
We cannot truly judge the whole bunch of teachers just because one says their grievances, but there is some truth in it, they do not complain because they want to quit the job and find a better paying one. They want to continue doing what they’re doing without compromising their own lives including their families. They want to continue sharing knowledge and at the same time enrich their own. There will be lesser burnout if they can have the right compensation and they can continue teaching with a more positive outlook. This is probably the best investment the government can put into the education system, this will empower the teachers to do better in their jobs and thus producing better students, which can make intelligent decisions including the one where requires you to choose a leader for the country.
6. Poor working environment/infrastructures.
Teaching with leaking roof, no exhaust, in an overcrowded room with no tables and sacrificing your own chair for a student… these are the things no one thinks of. One can never be so aware of all their hardships but it is there and it continues to burden them until the government acts on it. When you complain about the traffic in Metro Manila on the way to your work and you sit for about an hour and a half, think of the teachers who will walk up a mountain or walk half a mile to go to their respective schools because shuttle isn’t existent at all.
7. Teaching is the greatest profession of all.
Who taught you how to read, write, think, count and other important life skills you needed for everyday life? Who taught our leaders from the past how to govern us, how to repeat these learnings until we are all able to build a society. We may not realize how important teachers are, but the proposed salary change for them must come so the field will be more competitive and we can produce more and more teachers considered “best” in their fields.
8. To avoid brain drain.
This problem have been mentioned before, in so many ways, but for the teachers to remain interested about teaching and for the best teachers to stay here, the remuneration package must be very appealing. The government must learn how to take care of them, so they can nurture the students in return.
There are much pressing issues in the country right now, but these teachers deserve the spotlight. If the government can spend billions of money for vote-buying during elections, highway maintenance and other corruption served projects, I am pretty much sure that a million or two for the proposed salary raise will go a long way.
May the government try to value this profession and stop thinking that while they are from the rural areas who have learned how to just keep up with the worst conditions, they would not do any action. Let us all be catalysts of change in our own simple ways as to helping these teachers in deeds or by resources. We must propagate the importance of these people who helped our parents mold us to who we are right now. The whole community surrounding us right now, the leaders of our society, upholders of peace, they won’t be there if not for the teachers. With better teachers, we can raise a smarter generation and our hope can always gear to a renewed government.
What about you? Do you think the reasons mentioned above are true? Do you believe that teachers deserve more than what they are getting from our government? Kindly leave your comments and opinions in the comment box. You can also give some explanations and reasons why there’s a need for teachers’ salary hike.