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Words are My Wings
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I Broke a Verb!

When I was college, this joke made me laugh:

" A mother was telling her "kumare" that it was really too hard to have a daughter in college since it was too expensive and her daughter had been asking money everytime to pay some laboratory gadgets that she had broken in the course of their activities in school. The mother mentioned some of the names of the those things from test tubes to what ever until she mentioned something that caught her "kumare's" attention. "What?", blurted her "kumare" in surprise. "Yes, "mare", my daughter broke a verb and we have to pay for it.", the mother answered."

Well, sometimes, we could be innocent of things around us. Out of our ignorance. We can't blame some people to be ignorant about somethings sometimes. Perhaps opportunities to know those things just didn't come their way. Or our way.

However, there are situations that ignorance is not an excuse. Especially if you are a teacher. Much about your knowledge is expected because you are in the position to teach.

It is of common knowledge our country has been trying all means to provide quality basic education to our people in the elementary and high school level. But inspite of all those efforts, it is as if all are in vain because results of examinations given to elementary and high school students just showed that they fail to come out of our expected outcomes.

Lots of factors attributed to these failures. To name all of them would take me to long to finish this article. I would like just to air some views.

Teachers teach. Because of this they are expected to have graduated from college. Not only that, they are expected to be knowledgeable because that is their craft. Because of this they have to study, learn and re-learn about everything under the sun. Because education is not static, it is a lifetime process.

This led me to ask some questions. How many teachers do really continuously study? Nowadays, a vast of knowledge is just as overwhelming that we could not just say that we are sorry for being ignorant about them; we have to learn. However, what opportunities do teachers have in order that the continue to learn?

I have just come across a reading material that tells me why Japan succeed in their educational system. And individual must pass different tests and evaluations in order to know where he effectively could fit in the society. In our country, sad to note that the government is spending much of its resources to the "misfit", even to the "16-30's" and so on and so forth. The Department of Education is no exemption to this.

For sure I know there are so many teachers who continuously study. However, sad to note that opportunities for these teachers are so scarce especially if they do not yield to the norm of "pakikisasama" or even to the norm of being "wais" and the worst to the norm of being "sipsip".

Sometimes truth just really hurt. But it takes real courage to accept the fact that sometimes we fail. Addressing the real issues on education takes real honesty from all of those who are concerned especially our department heads. The call for a greener pasture ahead is so strong today. And I know that those who pass the evaluations for abroad are those who really are the best and these include our best teachers. Should we like to let this happen? That only those who "broke the verb" should be staying here because only here that they fit?

My voice could only be faintly heard, but at least I speak and I dare no harm. Just a wake up call! Maria Gina Nismal Mandin- Malibong

Posted: October 2, 2005 

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