Written by Tarra Quismundo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
On Tuesday, how about saying thanks to a favorite teacher?
The Department of Education is calling on all Filipinos – whether student, policeman, office worker or government employee, etc. – to send a simple message of gratitude to at least one former teacher to commemorate World Teachers’ Day.
“On October 5, every Filipino should just do one simple thing. Please thank one teacher who has made a difference in your life. You will not know what effect you will be able to contribute to the reform of education,” said Education Secretary Armin Luistro.
The education department is also encouraging everyone to say a short prayer for teachers at 10:05 in the morning of Tuesday, which is the exact time that the DepEd will be leading prayer rites at its central office.
The prayer reads: “Look upon our teachers with love. Grant them perseverance to nurture our eager minds and never give up on us who fall behind.”
My Teacher, My Hero
As part of the DepEd’s “My Teacher, My Hero” campaign, the October 5 event is the culmination of a monthlong commemoration of Teachers’ Month, with activities honoring almost 500,000 public elementary and high school teachers nationwide.
Luistro hopes the “Thank you, Teacher” day will spread outside schools.
“I don’t want Teachers’ Day to just be celebrated in schools. I am asking those outside of the schools to celebrate. That’s your assignment,” said Luistro, who was interviewed on the sidelines of a World Bank forum early Saturday.
On Wednesday, the DepEd signed an agreement with the Philippine Heart Association and Bayer Phil. for an initiative aimed at curbing the incidence of hypertension among teachers through the promotion of a healthy lifestyle and other preventive measures.
“The welfare and benefits of our employees, particularly our teachers, take paramount priority in the department. Today, we show the people how we value our teachers. Your government wants to provide our dear teachers the benefits they very well deserve,” Luistro said in an earlier statement.
As education’s foot soldiers, teachers are the backbone of a public school system that has struggled for a long time with shortages of classrooms, teaching materials and other resources.
Often, it is left to the creativity and resourcefulness of the poorly paid public schoolteacher to work through these perennial problems.
Some teachers have complained that they have yet to receive their honorarium for their summer teaching load, said Emma Policarpio, spokesperson of Teachers’ Dignity Coalition.