By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
Education Secretary Leonor Briones said teaching is a “calling beyond the hours” – something that is done with devotion, passion, and the benefit of the learners in mind.
“All of us know that a teacher is, perhaps, in addition to our parents, the most venerated,” said Briones as she urged everyone to honor the teachers during the National Teachers’ Month (NTM) celebration which started on September 5 until October 5.
“To be called a teacher is to be venerated, to be respected, to be loved,” Briones said during a recent press conference on the 2018 NTM, National Teachers’ Day (NTD), and World Teachers’ Day (WTD) celebrations.
“All of us honor them in our hearts and in our minds, but it is a great thing to honor them publicly” she added. She also expounded on what teaching is all about – a calling and something that has to be recognized. “In our country, there are already many awards given to teachers,” she added.
During the month-long celebration, Briones urged everyone to help “spread the good news on the teachers’ positive influence in society” – as well as the collaborations and partnerships in recognizing them.
“There is so much good news in the Philippines, and it’s the Filipino people who are creating the good news – it’s the teachers, it’s those who work, it’s those who serve who are creating the good news,” Briones said.
Salute teachers for serving Filipino learners
Briones also reiterated the importance of publicly honoring teachers as she also expressed her admiration of the 2018 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipino Teachers who were presented by Metrobank Foundation Inc. president and NTM Coordinating Council Co-Chair Aniceto Sobrepeña.
“These teacher-awardees have committed their lives to serve even beyond the classroom walls as they empower their students and the communities they work with,” Sobrepeña said. She thanked Metrobank “for leading the tradition – the Asian tradition of honoring, respecting, and recognizing our teachers.”
Briones also lauded the “outstanding accomplishments, significant contributions, and hard work” of this year’s teacher-awardees: Mary Jane Ramo, Misamis Occidental’s culture and environment heroine; Alma Janagap, Ed.D., Iloilo’s literacy crusader; Aimee Marie Gragasin, Ph.D., Nueva Vizcaya’s science education innovator; and Carla Dimalanta, Ph.D., the only female Exploration Geophysicist with a doctoral degree in the country.
“I’m very, very sure you work more than six, eight hours, 12 hours. I’m very sure because you did something pioneering. You did something which you believe in,” Briones told the teacher-awardees. “You did something which you thought would really benefit your learners, and you’re devoted to it, and you don’t count the hours – that is what teaching is all about,” she added.
Briones also thanked DepEd’s partners in paying tribute to teachers during the month-long celebration with the theme “Gurong Pilipino: Turo Mo, Kinabukasan Ko” including Metrobank Foundation Inc., Globe Telecom, Enchanted Kingdom, Philippine Postal Corporation, One Meralco Foundation, Bato Balani Foundation Inc., and Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) whose representatives were all present to show their support during the press conference.
Also present during the program were Undersecretary for Finance-Budget Performance and Monitoring Annalyn Sevilla, and Undersecretary for Legislative Affairs, External Partnerships, and School Sports Tonisito Umali, Esq. who gave an overview of the 2018 NTM/NTD/WTD celebrations.
This includes the treats awaiting teachers on their special month, courtesy of various partners from the academe, business conglomerates, business and civic organizations, corporate foundations and other organizations, government agencies, malls, media and publishing companies, museums, religious groups, and commercial and retail industries comprising the NTM Coordinating Council. The commemoration shall culminate with the NTD and WTD grand celebration on October 5 at Ormoc City Superdome in Ormoc City, Leyte.