Classrooms? Check. Teachers? Check. Students? Check. Facilities? Check. Chairs? Check. Tables? Check. Schedules? Check. Salaries? Check. These are some of the items in a long list of “must-haves” in establishing a senior high school program in a particular school. Ideally, it would be a feeling of “glad tidings of comfort and joy” experience if all of those items are really indeed receive a “check” mark on the accomplishment list. But in reality, they do not. In fact, some remain with a “question mark” indicative of not knowing when these needs will come.
The BNHS, thanks to the school head and the people who have been behind supporting this momentous effort in implementing senior high school, has been prepared and equipped of buildings, facilities and qualified teachers. But such preparedness was tested when the class opened last June 13, 2016. In an instant, BNHS has found itself lacking with so many necessities despite of continuous efforts of preparation. Discomforts can be felt everywhere. Both Students and teachers were asking for classrooms, chairs, ventilation, schedules, protocols, and every other sort of related problems, all of which constitute a perfect menu for an imperfect opening of a school year with a new program.
In a national level, groups of people have found DEPED wanting in terms of preparedness while claiming its readiness in implementing the said program. Movements to stop the program were everywhere. On one hand, mass demonstrations clamored for restraining, much worse, abolishing the K-12 program while the former DEPED secretary Bro. Armin Luistro through different forms of media claimed that “The best opening of classes ever” in the history of the Philippine education had just happened. While the “best opening” remains subjective to a few and the “worst opening” is seemingly objective to almost everybody, let me now share my own point of view of what the current ASDS of Division of DEPED Balanga and school principal of BNHS Mr. Armando C. Capili as he looks at these conflicts and discomforts as the “birth pains” of SHS program.
BNHS as an “Alma Mater” is giving birth to its new program. Birthing brings forth dangers to both mother and the child. Either of them could die. Actually, both of them could. But no mother would say “no” and stop giving birth at the beginning and in the middle of the process. Doing so is detrimental to herself and to her child. No matter how painful and dangerous, she will continue giving birth unto the hilt. Likewise, BNHS will not stop giving birth to SHS program. Neither in the middle of the process will it stop. Doing so brings more problems than solutions. And this beloved Alma Mater will give birth to its new born SHS students unto the hilt. Despite and inspite of all the difficulties, she will even continue to take good care of her SHS students, who, just like newly born babies, are endowed with so much potentials and possibilities. With us are the future work force, professionals, corporate bests, business tycoons, dedicated soldiers, policemen, navy, and who knows, leaders of our society who would be social catalysts of change. Inversely, they are also the possible problem children of this nation if proper care and attention are not provided.
The role of a senior high school teacher then, just like other teachers in an academe, is “demandingly” important. We can make or break them. It is demanding in terms of quantity and quality. It is important in view of the young students who are in critical and transitional stage of developing their fertile minds and hearts waiting to be planted of seeds of knowledge, wisdom and attitude that will guide their discernment about who and what they want to be, not only in their careers, but also as persons with dignity. Thus, teachers of high quality and standards are needed. But do not get me wrong. When I say high quality and standards, I do not mean professional qualifications and recognitions alone. What I do mean is the heart full of willingness to be a parent, a brother or a sister, a friend and agent of change for the future generations of this country. Let me appeal to your hearts dear readers, if you are a teacher or a professional, if you are able, willing and ready, come and join us in molding minds and hearts regardless of how herculean the tasks are and how painstaking these “birth pains” are. To my fellow teachers who have embraced these “birth pains”, kudos to all of you for bearing all of these with humors and laughters. This is only the beginning. A lot of things will still happen. As the saying goes, “tough times leave, tough guys stay”. These pains will pass and we will emerge victorious. But let us not stay because we are tough. Rather, let us stay because we give love.
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