Thursday, 30 August 2012

K + 12 basic education program: In the eyes of a mentor and a mother

San Ramon Elementary School
Naga City

I HAVE been teaching at a Government-Run Elementary School for more than thirty years. It has been a journey of ups and downs, happiness and sorrow, success and failure. 

The sound of children rushing through school, hurrying to their classrooms all tidied up and excited for the day’s lesson never ceases to brighten up my day. 

There is something about the ardor of youth and their passion for learning that is just so intoxicating.

As my day often begins with a class roll call for attendance, you can’t help but notice how many have missed the class – again. Sometimes, they’re absent for a day, a week, but sometimes more. 

What really saddens me is the realization that one or some of my students are not coming back. Not anymore. I can’t help but feel deeply saddened for one less student in class. 

But I can feel more sorrow for that pupil. For his pent-up frustration of not getting the education he deserves – the kind of education that will eventually help his family and provide for his brighter future.

It is, however, a plight I very well understand. I can only imagine what their parents are going through. 

As a mother of four, I know the financial demand of education to parents. It really takes a toll on the financial resources of a family way beyond their means, especially when you really want the best for your children. 

And no self-respecting parent would want anything less for their child.

With the new challenge of the K + 12 Basic Education Program, the educator in me is ecstatic. This would mean a greater readiness for my pupils. More time in school would mold them into the basic molds needed for their future chosen careers. 

It would not be enough that they graduate knowing how to read and write. 

They would be more equipped with the necessary tools to navigate through college or life in general. The additional two years of education lets them simmer to be “just right” and ripe for the picking.

On the other hand, the mother in me cringes. I can’t help but count mentally the needed financial resources to go through the additional two years. 

That would mean two years extended support for the children. Two years that could have made them productive employees of this country. Two years off a mother’s financial worry.
In retrospect, if my children would just be starting school now, 

I would not hesitate on K + 12.1 know that it would entail a lot of sacrifice on my part. I know that my budget will be spread so thin that it will break into a million pieces. I know that there will be times that I would not know how to go through just one more day until the next payday. 

I know that there will be more agonizing days to come. Two years is a long time… but two years can fly. These two years can make or break my child’s future. 

These two years can make him more ready than he can ever be. These two years can make him stand tall amidst anyone in the world. 

These two years will be worth all the pain and hardship it will cost. 

After all, nothing is ever good enough for my child -  for any Filipino Child. – Bicol Mail

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