After viewing the documentary film, entitled “Maestrang Bulod”, where it shows how the teacher in order to do their job needs to travel weekly to school and live there for a week, it wakes up my consciousness with the struggle of these teachers. There is no other road to go up hill but to ride on a boat in the river and if the water is low, no other choice but to walk barefooted with their belongings with them. The school is small where the grade one classroom looks like abandoned, untidy. The ceilings are worn out due to the rain, and of time. No complete school facilities. In addition, teacher used to treat their classroom as a house having their kitchen and bed for they don’t have any house to stay there. During night time, they used to use lamp for there is no electricity there. So, teachers with their phones with them would frequently use their phones to contact their loved ones because the battery they have must last till the weekend. Aside from there is no electricity there, the signal for phones is also limited. For the teacher especially Teacher Roshelle who wanted to check if her months old baby is fine, still needs to go to a higher elevated place to get some signal. Aside from the teacher’s problem with the classroom as well as their geographic location, they have a great role to play also when it comes to their pupils. If in the urban areas sometimes the parents really is up to date when it comes to the performance of their child, here it is the other way around. The teacher here is most likely to follow up why their pupil wasn’t going to school. Samples of this type of students by which it took lot of attention by the teacher were grade 1pupils. One of which is a girl. After spending sometime of these pupils at school, they need to do their task as a member of the family too. But their task is, turns out to be so different than majority of those kids in the cities. If kids after school watch t.v. for entertainment or somehow play games, there at Cabugao, kids work like their parents do sometimes. A girl in grade one turns out to be a big girl at their home. She cooked for their food and took care of her younger brothers and sisters. Another pupil, a boy with the same grade level, tend to collect plastics and metals as long as it could be sold for them to have something to buy for food. As a result, this boy has lots of abrasion and cuts in the hand and legs of the kid. These two kids sometimes would have to absent from class because of this works which supposed they must not have at that very young age. Aside from this horrible reality is that, pupils aside from not all has their uniforms with them, don’t have enough school supplies as well. How many of these cases will still occur? Up until how many kids will do the same? Up until how many problems be left unsolved and added as time passes by? During the past years to this point of time, these issues are extant and sadly, Cabugao elementary school is one proof of it.
Our country as a government of, for and by the people embraces also the concept of having a bureaucratic form of government wherein there is a branching of responsibilities in each position from the President down to the councilors of each barangays in the country. Thus, this is to ensure that the information from the national government will be easily and well disseminated. This is also a way to encourage the maximum participation of every citizen in our country. According to Article 2 Section 25, it states that “The state shall ensure the autonomy of local governments.” Now, what is this local autonomy? Local autonomy implies that what the national government has in terms of its responsibilities to the people and country in order promote the public welfare is also true to the role of local government units from provincial to cities to municipalities down to the barangays. Thus, the local government units has a great role to play for they were entrusted to the do the necessary move a government should do for its people. This indicates that there is a sense of independence with regards to the management of the community they are to administer in lined with the national government for the attainment of national goals foreseeing betterment of our country. First and foremost, this promotion of local autonomy is pursued because it is presumed that the local residents know best the solutions to their problems. While the national government is given more time to devote its energies to national programs, autonomy of local government provides maximum participation for local residents in planning their development. Another is for the enhancement of self-sufficient and self-reliant local governments that they make take accountable and responsible with how they run being effective leaders to where they belong. This is pretty much the basic concept of bureaucracy that the government may reach out every citizen in the country. Having this reason for this implementation made me wonder what did the local government were doing that they haven’t had given attention to the problem the Cabugao elementary school is facing. The government, especially the local government units, is an important stakeholder of a school for they at a very practical sense provide and caters the needs of a school for it represents and stands as a close figure of the national government who serves and protects its people. Aside from that, they served as resident’s voices to the higher government that somehow the needs which local ones can’t provide will be given attention and met. The Local Government Code of the Philippines, Section 3 (b), says that –“there shall be established in every local government unit an accountable, efficient and dynamic organizational structure and operating mechanism that will meet the priority and service requirement of its communities.” If this was implemented and done well, the problems experienced in Cabugao would be solved somehow and the decentralization will be paving a way to the quality of human life. Yet, is there a quality life existent there? What kind of organizational structure and operating system they are facing and practicing? Why is it not appearing to be effective? Road for transportation is even a factor by which teachers have been dealing with weekly. Section 100 (c) 1 of that code states that the annual school board budget shall give priority to the construction, repair and maintenance of school buildings and other facilities of public elementary school and secondary schools. Why is it that it seems like the school live because of teachers alone? Was really the budget shared equally? Equally to those near the national roads yet on the hinterlands is not? Why does this school do seem like it haven’t have any? If there comes but for a minimal cases only and facilities was of minimal too. Who’s to blame? The young innocent learners? The willing parents who sometimes fail to do their responsibilities as well? Or most selfish government officials who tend to show concern towards the people in times of and after that they’ve got the position, it’s as if nothing had happened? Leaving the residents to solve their own problems? Wake up! Since it is a system, failure of one, affects everyone. If the locale of that place isn’t acting also towards this, how could they be heard? There are lots of schools in the Philippines and not all the problems are being catered or solve because the people as part of the community as well is not acting towards it as well. It’s a two way process actually between that of the government and that of the people who are in need of service. Let’s get off the weeds before it rotten our crops! What had happened to Cabugao elementary school just shows that there is malfunctioning not just in the educational aspect but to the government as well. If we will let all of this unattended were creating a country of problems and not of a country that we, as part of it, be thankful of. It is not that easy to pinpoint those who are responsible for all of this malfunctioning but what had been seen in the film needs an action. As part of the making true of our government goals in the attainment of a developed country, this is not just a one man task. It requires participation of each individual to any society he or she does belong. This film serves as an eye opener. This maybe not just happening to Cabugao but maybe it also exists in our own locality. Thanks to teachers who despite of their sacrifices, still eager to make true to their oaths not just for making them worthy of the chance the government is offering to them and their salary but as a concerned citizen of the country as well. May these kinds of teachers be still around that we may develop future leaders that are not merely in concerned of their selfish benefits but for the public for that’s what they must be doing.
Indeed all of this disheartening reality, if not taken into action, it will still echo back to those who are responsible for this. How long will our eyes be blind? ; our ears deaf? ; our hands unused? Our hearts hardened? Who will receive the handful of shame? The earlier it is fixed the better the society we can have while were still alive. Wake up! Our tomorrows maybe in turn just part of the sad history.