EDITORIAL - Teachers' Day

() - October 5, 2010 - 12:00am

Little girls used to dream of becoming teachers when they grow up. These days, with teachers leaving their own country to work as maids in Hong Kong and elsewhere, a career in education has lost much of its luster. Many of the country’s best educators have also left for teaching jobs overseas, lured by salaries they cannot hope to earn in their lifetime in their own country.

The result has been a national disaster, the impact of which is being felt in the poor quality of Philippine education and consequent slide in the country’s competitiveness. Other countries correctly see education as the key to national progress, and are investing heavily in all aspects of education, from the provision of more school buildings with modern facilities to the training of a large pool of teachers qualified to impart world-class education. This has not been the case in the Philippines.

Long before members of the judiciary threatened to stage protest actions against the cut in their proposed budget for next year, public school teachers have been staging mass protests and complaining about being among the most overworked and underpaid in the bureaucracy. Over the years the teachers’ workload has increased with the continuing boom in the student population, with no commensurate salary adjustments.

For sure, many educators are still infused with a noble mission in life and are prepared to make personal sacrifices to mentor the country’s future generations. Several months ago, a Filipino educator and social worker, Efren Peñaflorida Jr., was picked by Cable News Network as Hero of the Year, for bringing education in a cart to the very poor.

Today, on the 16th annual global observance of the United Nations’ World Teachers Day, we pay tribute to Peñaflorida and the many other educators who have dedicated their lives to shaping the minds of Filipinos. That dedication should be matched with sufficient training, facilities and equipment to provide quality education for all.

CABLE NEWS NETWORK COUNTRY EDUCATION EDUCATORS EFREN PE HERO OF THE YEAR HONG KONG TEACHERS UNITED NATIONS WORLD TEACHERS DAY
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