Statement of CHR spokesperson, Atty. Jacqueline de Guia, in celebration of the National Teachers Month

Statement of CHR spokesperson, Atty. Jacqueline de Guia, in celebration of the National Teachers Month

Teachers are at the heart of the efforts to fulfill every child’s right to education and ensure that no one is left behind. The National Teachers’ Month–which starts today, 5 September, and culminates on World Teachers’ Day on 5 October–is an opportunity to honor the vital role of teachers in shaping the Filipino youth especially in this period of health crisis.

Filipino teachers have always displayed resilience in various types of crisis. This year’s global theme captures the indomitable qualities of our educators — “Teachers: Leading in crisis, reimagining the future.” Our teachers are making great sacrifices to provide blended learning in order to reach all students especially the marginalized ones. To prepare for the opening of classes, many teachers have also demonstrated resourcefulness amid challenges in order to mitigate gaps.

The challenges faced by teachers have compounded due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As we honor and express gratitude to all Filipino teachers, let us also heed and address their concerns such as their vulnerability to contract coronavirus when delivering modules to students; coverage of expenses in the printing and distribution of learning modules; and, lack of internet access, equipment, and other provisions for remote teaching.

It is crucial to invest in the protection, training, and professional development of teachers so they are fully equipped to respond to the new landscape of education in this period of pandemic. Our country puts high premium to education but this must also be translated to the value and compensation we accord our educators.

Teachers are instrumental in fulfilling the potential of the youth. Despite current uncertainties, young people move forward to the future equipped with essential skills and knowledge acquired through the commitment of teachers. In one way or another, teachers have contributed in our pursuit of a life of quality and dignity. Salutations and utmost gratitude to all Filipino teachers!