Leave the teachers alone

OPINION
By SUSAN PALMES-DENNIS
September 6, 2019

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CHARLOTTE, North Carolina—Leave the teachers alone in the classrooms. No ifs and buts.
I agree with House Bill  No. 4232 known as the School Health and Safety Act filed by Rep. Kristine Alexie Tutor of Bohol province’s 3rd  district and it is timely and relevant at this point in time in the history of the Philippine educational system.
The bill’s main focus is on the health snd safety of students in public schools whether technical or vocational. It is also more of the removal of non-teaching responsibilities of teachers and faculty members in all public schools.
I agree with Rep. Tutor 100 percent especially at this time when educational standards in the country have not only stagnated but are deteriorating. With the declining performance of over populated public schools in examinations and global competitions something is clearly wrong.
This is due to many factors such as teachers’ involvement in non-teaching works assigned to them.  These include guidance and even psychological counseling as well as providing entertainment during fiestas, Christmas parties and other occasions.  Some teachers also act as doctors or nurses because there are no medical personnel available.
Public school teachers and even some private school teachers couldn’t refuse lest they don’t receive favorable endorsement or recommendations from their superiors. Yes, sadly in the Philippines a lot of public school teachers had to jockey for endorsements from local officials especially if they don’t have the required eligibility and other credentials.
And this lopsided setup imposed on them affects their performance and by extension their students.  Teachers can only spend so many hours in a day without burning out that they shorten their teaching hours by about a half thus leaving their students to fend for themselves with all their materials while they make cut flowers or other decors to be used for school visits by their supervisors. Sad and true.
In fact I came to know of a teacher in one of Cagayan de Oro City’s hinterland barangays (villages) who had to cancel classes to prepare some thesis for the principal.  And that’s not including election season when public school teachers are required to serve in the Board of Canvassers while their allowances are delayed no thanks to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and Congress.
It’s sad to see teachers reporting for work tired and sleeping in the corner while their students do nothing in class. And too often, losing candidates blame their defeat at the hands of biased teachers who supposedly manipulated the tabulation of votes in their respective districts.
That is why teaching is and should remain a noble profession and we owe it to our teachers for what we have become today. Rep. Tutor is being  true to her surname ‘Tutor’ which is another word for teacher or mentor. And so again I’m sure I am not alone in saying that government should just leave the teachers alone and allow them to do what they were trained to do and that is to teach our children. (For questions and comments email me at susanap.dennis@ yahoo.com)


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