We’ve spent the most time with them during our young lives- whether we liked it or else.
They are our second parents. For some, the only ones they’ve had.
They listen to us- even if we don’t listen to them.
Each artwork we churn out is a masterpiece, each novice essayist is Nobel-worthy.
They would shush us at times but they can’t tolerate us not speaking up.
They’ve made us stand in the corner; they’ve helped us make a stand.
They expanded our imagination. They kept us grounded.
Through lessons in school, we learned there is a greater world outside.
They’ve willingly tethered themselves to the classroom so that we, their students, can soar beyond the possible.
To borrow a line of Isaac Newton- someone I met in one of our Physics classes- if I can see farther, it’s because I’ve stood on the shoulders of giants.
I am eternally grateful to you all.
I really believe that a great future is unfolding for me thanks to the quality education I received. Many Filipino children, though, are at a disadvantage because of the many gaps in the Philippine education system. Hordes of teachers leave the country to seek work opportunities with better compensation. Many teach in schools that are on the verge of toppling over. There are just too many students in a class, sharing too few books, taught by too few teachers, with too few trainings and continuing education activities.
You don't have to be a public university teacher like me to know that the educational system needs a major overhaul of all its parts. The task is daunting but we can start with the one who is most indispensable in the classroom- the teacher. Increase the budget for health so that more teachers can be hired, they can be given more humane compensation, and their minds are sharpened by further schooling.
I echo the call of the UNESCO- investing to have quality teachers now is an investment that will yield dividends of a better future for everyone.