Room for learning
BUSINESS AFTER BUSINESS - Romelinda Garces (The Freeman) - May 23, 2019 - 12:00am

Many things are going on. After the exciting battle of the elections, we are now confronted with so many changes. With the change of leadership, we expect a change in management style and with it goes the programs set out for the coming years.

Well, I do hope that the development of our country will remain a priority and time will not be wasted chasing after the errors of the past. It would waste so much energy and valued time to focus on the wrong instead of doing what will make the nation progress. But I do not mean that if there are errant practices, that these should not be addressed. However, as a citizen, I suggest a committee be assigned to do the probing and assessment so that the elected executives can freely tackle the more pressing challenges ahead.

As the dust settles, I will push on with my own advocacy which for the longest time has had me banging my head against the wall. The need to provide the needed work space for teachers.

Because of the necessity for more classrooms for the growing population of students, the Department of Education has focused its attention on providing high-rise school buildings. Why high-rise? Because there is no more space in the very saturated school campus.

I thank my friend Amado Go, the Go Family, and the Go Sing King Foundation Inc. who has taken to heart our call for providing teachers with a faculty room. The GSK Foundation unselfishly restructured an old one-story school building in the Jagobiao National High School, Mandaue City and added a second floor so that the teachers could have a place to do their school work.

A good working area provides the teachers with room to study and improve on their lessons. In the University of the Philippines, the faculty have rooms to do their research, study, prepare their lessons, privately construct their exams, and confer with each other for added learning. They have adequate teaching tools like computers and projectors to enhance their teaching aids and shelves and drawers for their books and papers. I have noted the same for some of the state universities and colleges.  So what makes the rest of the public schools different?

A student once told me that the learning in the private schools are better than those in the public schools. If so, why? 

I would like to refute that observation though because I have seen the curriculum of the DepEd and their lessons are the same. The teachers are of the same caliber if not even better at times. What makes the difference?

Facilities?  Budget?  Priorities?

I have to commend the teachers especially in the underprivileged areas for their innovativeness, patience and initiative to find ways to make their students learn even if they themselves are confined in cramped spaces, or positioned at the hallways of their schools just to make their lessons. Mind you, even libraries are scarce in some schools. Libraries are made attachments to the principal’s office or a classroom. Space for learning and for preparing the learning instruments is scarce.

There are pipelined school building projects. I just hope that the Department of Education would consider the provision of at least half a floor for the teacher’s to camp and do their lessons. Am I just again wishing?  I hope not.  I really hope not.

The quality of learning is highly dependent on the quality of preparation and most of our pupils are enrolled in public schools. These kids are our future, and their teachers can bridge them to become their full potential as long as the teachers themselves have that room to study, discover, and think. 

I pray that those in government who have advocated for education will NOT be shy and find it self-serving to think of their teachers as well in providing school facilities. My heart bleeds at the thought that our noble teachers, who are the first persons we call to man the polls, devise festive programs, train students to participate in cultural activities, be the workforce of public events, provide umbrellas for dignitaries, and so on, are not even provided the comfort to think  for the best of their students.

We do not need them to sacrifice more.

So I pray, that those who have ears will listen. And those who can do something, will do so.

LEARNING
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