A teacher’s taleCebu Daily News
A TEACHER’S life is thankless enough as it is without the public having to hear sad, even heart-rending stories about their working conditions or their personal travails.
Still, a news story about how a teacher in one of Mandaue City’s public schools force fed two of her pupils with paper after she got angry with them may be enough to dispel whatever compassion one may have towards Filipino teachers in general and cast an angry eye towards the government for failing to improve their welfare.
According to the news story, the teacher was lecturing when she spotted the two female pupils making small talk. Irked at being ignored, the teacher asked them to recite and when they failed to do so, she scolded them and ordered them to eat paper.
The two girls were too terrified not to comply but later reported to their parents who filed a complaint with local school authorities.
Even if the police didn’t find her at home, the parents said they heard that the teacher was remorseful enough to apologize. The regret came after the incident was reported to the authorities.
A suspension may be in the offing for this teacher but hers is not an isolated case. In Cagayan de Oro, a teacher was suspended and reassigned after she scolded two pupils and told them to lick the floor of a dirty, foul-smelling toilet.
Corporal punishment is supposed to be a thing of the past for enlightened educators.
It’s disheartening to hear accounts of teachers who impose brutal codes of punishment on minors.
We’d like to think these are the exception rather than the rule.
A majority of teachers in public schools work tirelessly and remain underpaid for handling crowded classes in poorly built facilities and inadequate books.
For now the Mandaue City school teacher faces a complaint filed by the parents with the Ombudsman-Visayas. Due process will take time.
For now, we can only appeal to local school board authorities and the Department of Education to step up their monitoring and discipline of heavyhanded teachers, while working towards making the environment in public schools more conducive for both student and teacher to achieve the goal of genuine learning and growth.
More from this Column:
- To concede is an act of grace
- Cleaning up
- For Cebu City in three years
- Plugging the holes
- Fall of (some of ) Cebu’s old guard