“There is no dull person, lazy you call it”

           The documentary film entitled “Juan Tanga?” presents the great role of teachers in shaping the future of the citizens. In the film, bitter facts were uncovered. Our country belong to low performing countries in the field of Science (41st of 45 countries) and Math (23rd of 25 countries); Bridge statistics results last 2004 shows only 20% are qualified to enter high school; and 80% of the teachers don’t have enough capability in terms of speaking English. Due to this, different reasons of this bitter truth were cited. The Philippine government has 918.6 billion budgets and 112 billion of it was intended for education yet there were still classrooms for learners which isn’t conducive for learning. There were large number of pupils enrolled yet the schools don’t have enough facilities which results to conducting classes in the anywhere available – in the hallway, mini gym, and even in a large hall of the school unfortunately there it is composed of many classes subdivided only by a chalk board. The teacher-student ratio was 1 is to 60+ to 80+ even though there were already 3 shifts of classes per day. Comfort rooms can’t even provide comfort. It looked like abandoned– no water, no doors; so dusty and untidy to look at. Aside from that, 17 million pupils enrolled for school and 2 million of those pupils were not in the right age for their level. Poor reading skills of pupils were discovered. Some books approved by the Department of Education contain errors grammatically and even inappropriate for the level of the pupils to be encountered. There was also a teacher even fail to distinguish what’s the grammatical error on a certain passage. Aside from that, the concept of poverty was pinpointed, impermanent addresses of pupils even the low payment for teachers. There were also teachers who sell foods inside the classrooms. There were interviews about basic information as part of our country to citizens and some fail to answer it correctly. According to Bro. Clifford, “key knowledge concepts even learning environment is found not conducive for learning primarily because aside from the lack of it, the teacher itself too is not that equip in teaching those key concepts or applying those to be effective in teaching the learners”. Citizens who have been to school much more to those which are not schooling found difficulty in spelling. There were wrong signage’s with grammatical errors. In the film too, one of the reasons why majority of the Filipino citizen tend to shunt away political issues and prefer entertainment for somehow, they knew much more about it than the latter since they at least wanted to ease their problems from their day to day life and gain smiles through it some time. Despite of all this,  there are still those which having a low economic status are eager to finish what they have as of the moment and that is pursuant of education with self-determination. The film significantly indicates a woeful scenario which challenges every Filipino.
            While I was watching the film, the issue struck me about the system of education I’ve been having all throughout my school years. I have been in a public school from elementary to high school till now in college and the course I am taking is in line with it soon too. Having this documentary film existing, this bitter fact of reality? It crushed my heart. I don’t think it is proper that the basis for the acquisition of books by the DepEd is on which is the cheapest among the competitors. Let’s say it is their process that they can save such if they make it that way. But how can they assure it is of quality without even looking at its content? As a result, there were lots of technical errors in the books and some books aren’t appropriate for the grade level of the learners. Now, the state aims to provide quality education that is accessible to all. Was this there way on how they develop our future leaders? the hope of our nation? With this, I don’t think we can achieve what we dream of achieving. Added with these are some teachers who appear to be unqualified to teach due to lack of skills in enabling leaners understand the lesson, it is so disgusting. It triggers the mentality of most Filipinos that teaching is the lowest profession and I felt bad about it. It is unfair too for those who do their job well. Thus, we should not overlook them too. We can’t say or put all the blame to the teachers too if pupils are not performing well than expected. Teachers are just a part of the various stakeholders of the curriculum. The life of a child doesn’t just revolve around the four corners of the classroom. Parents also have a role to play about it for even the kind of environment they have at home could affect the child’s performance at school too. Aside from that, the role of the government is essential. We may have competent teachers yet if facilities were not provided, the school force is weakened too.
           Despite of this, it challenges me more to pursue what I have started. Seeing the pupils in the film eager to go to school despite of the rain and even to the extent is flood though pitiful yet inspiring. The notion that poverty is not a hindrance to success ever loses its spark. It has always been means of motivation to look onto a brighter ahead and not enclosed one’s world to narrow-mindedness. In the documentary film, though kids tend to work day and night for them to survive, they still manage to do their best just to earn education. What I saw in the film keeps knocking into my heart that these young kids work hard aiming to oust their family out of poverty. Yet if the corrupt practices will still continue, I awfully feel bad about what their future life would be.
           Foreseeing what I will be 10 years from now after graduating here in IIT, I will be surely 28 years of age that time. Well, with that 10 year period, I have had somehow done something worth of value. As a citizen, I have been actively participating to activities which involvement in it is highly a necessity like being a responsible voter during elections. In addition, I am still practicing and promoting Executive Order No. 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 which is highly implemented in our municipality. I have been also practicing my rights and duties to our country like respecting the rights of each individual and of course my teaching profession. Clinging to it, my hard works during my basic and tertiary education will always be significant events I would paint smiles on my face every time I would reminisce it for the rest of my life for during this time I have had my return of investment. I already got my license for teaching elementary pupils. During that time, I have been already teaching in a public elementary school in my home town. I am still assigned in the hinterlands. Well, that is the protocol in our town, there shall be a mass giving of position allowing those in the hinterlands to be transferred in schools as possible near the national highways or otherwise settled near the place of their residence. Every day, it is a great challenge to me to handle these learners for it helps me to assess myself on how effective I am as a teacher and allows me to know myself more. The problem existing of this documentary film would possibly be still arousing if “teachers”, the new and old ones, will do the old way.  Equipped with the 21st century skills, I have been a proof of doing the new ways for the betterment of not just towards my learners but for the community as well. I have developed flexibility and adaptability to cope up with the different attitudes and behaviors of my learners per school year. My task as a teacher isn’t just to teach but to treat every day as a brand new beginning to touch and transform lives as well that’s why I must be careful to what I’ve been teaching them for somehow I may be a factor of their success or failure. As a teacher, I have acquainted myself with my strength and weaknesses that it may not hinder the learners for them to learn. Teachers have find most of the time correct to the eyes of the young kids and would less believe to what their parents tell them because according to their teacher what they think is right. It is a challenged for me that I may do what is right and practice what is necessary for what is teaching if you don not teach or practice yourself with what is really necessary. Aside from that, I have been actively doing my vocation, mission and profession in a way that I have been eradicating the sense of stereotyping to the minds pupils by treating them without favoritism. As a teacher, I have been embracing Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence Theory that there is no dull person. I’m making them realize that each individual is special and bears something they excel the most.  They just have to find it out and develop it that they may never think of themselves inferior than that of others. For me to cater the different learning needs of the child, I have been using varied teaching strategies to enhance pupils’ participation in the class. As a facilitator of learning I have been teaching science in a way that hinterland children may find the beauty of science not just a subject but as application to real life. I have been exposing the kids into the field if necessary and not limit their learning inside the four corners of the classroom. I’m making them realize that at a very young age they can be an agent of a positive change too, there is no age requirement for it. I have been extending my classroom capabilities in terms of science through promulgating school based science camps. Enhancing not just pupils’ knowledge but enabling them to develop collaborative skills towards others. I’m doing my part as an enabler in the community I belong. Well every teacher has its role as an extension to the community especially during community programs or any public activities where facilitating teacher is required. In addition, during that time, K+12 has been the new educational system thus it would allow more equip teachers in this field. I would not let my teachers whom I recognized “teacher” turn into a failure and waste away the piece of what they have shared towards me. My ground would always be having the attitude not just perception of what I must have to do. Attitude by acting necessarily towards what cognate in me and what I felt, I’ve been acting also what I think is right with regards to my profession. I have not waste the budget of the government for me allowing me to have before until during this time. As a person, during that time, I am still peace advocate doing some talks with regards to breaking the walls of religion and opening doors for respect even an environmentalist too; a friend not just to my co-teachers and pupils but towards others as well; a daughter who honors her mother and father; a student who seeks to learn more out of my daily experiences; and a lover who, out of the hectic schedule at school, smiles give thanks at the end of the day for she knows somebody still stands by her side too.
           Indeed, each person has a purpose for its existence in many ways our naked eyes can see. What am I doing today has always have to do with what would I be in the ne’er future.
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