Protecting our honorable teachers PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 12 January 2014 00:00

“A good teacher is like a candle - it consumes itself to light the way for others” (Mustafa Kemal Atatürk). This is how the author describes our beloved teachers. They pave the future of our next generation. They take extra miles, do heroic efforts, and give priorities in this profession for their students even at the expense of their very own lives.

Sadly to observe, our local teachers face life’s threats like being kidnapped or harassed compare to teachers of other regions. It seems their labors in this field are being taken lightly by government agencies and local officials responsible for their protection.

As our teachers troop back to school this year, Pep Talk is calling authorities to honor them with protection. Especially our teachers assigned in nearby islands whose some colleagues have been kidnapped (0ne is still being held captive up to now).

Annually, teachers worldwide are honored every 5th of October –the  World’s Teachers Day. According to UNESCO, this day represents a significant token of the awareness, understanding and appreciation displayed for the vital contribution that teachers make to education and development. It aims to mobilize support for teachers and to ensure that the needs of future generations will continue to be met in this field.

And since taking over as OIC of Department of Education (DepEd) Zamboanga City, School Superintendent Pedro “Sir Pete” Natividad, local teachers are honored for their deeds in this significant occasion.

Last September 7, 2013, DepEd-Zamboanga commenced the celebration with a “Division Wide Teachers’ Fun Run 2013” with the theme, “My Teacher, My Hero.” But due to the Zamboanga City crisis, the other set activities for teachers that month were held in abeyance.

Like Sir Pete, I also believed it is never late to honor heroes. The planned World Teachers’ Day Celebration set on October 5, 2013 pushed thru last December 18, 2013 at the Zamboanga City Coliseum in Tetuan with delight and satisfaction.

After the opening program, the day was highlighted with exciting activities like the Search for Mr. & Ms. Educator 2013, Teachers’ Got Talent, and My Voice.  It showcased the exceptional talents and versatility of our local teachers.

Congratulations to teacher Melvin Ledesma of Don Pablo Lorenzo Memorial (DPLM) National High School and Mary Jane N. Enderez of Bunguiao National High School who bagged the coveted titles, Mr. & Ms. Educator 2013, respectively.  The 1st runner-ups were teachers Edward P. River and Denielynne L. Cui of Canelar Elementary School; the 2nd runner-ups were teachers Danilo Apat Jr. of Vitali Central School and Jane Aubrey L. De Paz of DPLM National High School; and the 3rd Runner-ups were teacher Elvin D. Enriquez of Bolong Elementary School and Ma. Rizza A. Peralta of Boalan Elementary School.

The My Voice 2013 Winners were teacher Lovel C. Siborboro of Talon-Talon National High School – 1st place; 2nd place went to teacher  Leah Ebias of Anuling Elementary School; and 3rd placer was teacher Ivy Tolentino of Sangali Elementary School.

The Teachers’ Got Talent 2013 winners were went to Talon-Talon, Tetuan, and Putik Districts Cluster (1st place); Sta. Maria District (2nd place), and Ayala Labuan Districts Cluster (3rd place).

Indeed, the year of 2013 for our local teachers ended with a high note. But as the year 2014 begins, my prayer for our teachers is that lawless elements will give them the respect they deserve and will not harm them anymore. Our local government officials especially newly elected barangay officials will give them protection all the time as our teachers go out in their respective school assignments.  The hazard pay they receive is not enough to compensate the pain and anguish it gives to their families when harm comes to our teachers.

By Dante Corteza
Romans 12:7 “If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well.”