Written by: John Paul D. Galang, Teacher I – Bataan National High School-Junior High School
As the whole world is being confronted by what is potentially one of the most terrifying threats in the entire history of the human race: the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone is sitting in anxiety and uncertainty as we encounter significant changes in every single aspect of our lives, our education area included. This truth screams the loudest in most social media platforms that we have, if not all.
Posts manifesting fears, pains, worries, anxieties and the like have become mainstream. I, for one, a public-school teacher, have always kept an open eye and mind about the different circumstances people are in, whilst the pandemic. Try as I may to not let every bad thing, I come across on the internet steal my joy, I just cannot turn a blind eye, especially if the posts I’d encounter were created by my students and co-public servants, my colleagues in the DepEd family. Needless to say, this grueling scenario isn’t just hitting straight to our physical bodies but it is also piercing through our minds and souls: the latter being more sickening.
A couple of days ago, as I was having my rest and just browsing through the internet, I ran across a post of a colleague calling us, teachers, for an action: to be at our utmost leniency conveying the known “no students shall be left behind”. I paused for a while and thought to myself: what kind of leniency is still being squeezed from us? Are we really lacking such? My heart goes out to all my students particularly to those who are being left out by the sudden paradigm shift in education… but what about enforcing standards? Should we just loosen our grip? How about the “quality education” we are trying to deliver? Can these two (leniency and quality) be so carried out without the other one being set aside even a little? Unknown to me are the answers. Maybe, as we continue to journey through this new normal, we would, by and by, figure things out and find new ways to extend our compassion even further without sacrificing the quality of education we have been called to deliver. After all, we are in this together.