Now is not the time to be silent, Luistro tells teachers
For former Education Secretary Armin Luistro, now is not the time for teachers to be silent and apathetic to the various social issues confronting the country, from the imposition of martial law in Mindanao to the growing number of suspected drug users and peddlers killed in the Duterte administration’s crackdown on the illegal drug trade.
Speaking before hundreds of teachers at a forum in Ateneo de Manila University on Saturday, Luistro said that at a certain point, educators must take on the very essence of teaching, which is to provide disruption to the existing conditions in society.
“I’m deathly afraid of teachers who feel it is their role to bring people, their classes and society to stay in their comfort zones. I’m deathly afraid of people who feel that if we sleep soundly at night, then things must be working very well,” said Luistro, the newly appointed president of De La Salle Philippines.
He noted that if teachers feel that they should just stick to what’s written in the textbooks and do not incorporate in their lessons what’s happening around the community, then students might as well learn from online tools.
“The teachers’ essential task is really to disrupt, in a good sense. To ask questions, to challenge assumptions, but not to impose on [students] what [they] think. Students must have the capacity to analyze facts and to make their own informed decisions and positions,” he told the Inquirer in an interview.
According to Luistro, there should be “creative tension” inside classrooms so that students would be “able to move from what we know into action that has an impact on society.”
The former education chief pointed out that he understood that some would rather choose to keep to themselves, especially on social media where dissenting opinions are easily silenced by the armies of trolls. He added that teachers now have the option to either be a “happy and safe teacher” or be a “Filipino teacher.”
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