How We Respect (or Disrespect) the Teaching Profession on World Teachers' Day

The walls of the old house in Manila where I grew up did not have paint and were termite infested. Still, I could sense some pride as one of the walls had a framed diploma displaying my mother's accomplishment in Teacher Education. In fact, at school whenever I was asked to fill out a form that required listing the occupation of my parents, I wished I could write the word "Teacher" under my mother's profession. I had always admired teaching.

As the world celebrates Teachers' Day, we are again reminded of the important role mentors play in society. UNESCO calls it Invest in the Future, Invest in Teachers:

Unfortunately, we do not seem to understand fully what it takes to honor our teachers. Mainstream media in the Philippines, for instance, continue to convey a message that seems at first uplifting but in truth, fully denigrates the teaching profession. Take, for example, the title of an article on ABS-CBN NewsWhy an Ateneo graduate became a public school teacher:

Above copied from ABS-CBN News
Ateneo is considered as one of the elite universities in the Philippines. The title of the article implies that teachers should not normally come from prestigious universities. This is an awful message to send especially during World Teachers' Day. But perhaps media only speak of the truth regarding our society. The Alliance of Concerned Teachers just posted the following on its Facebook page:

Above copied from Alliance of Concerned Teachers Facebook page
Right at the middle of a huge celebration of World Teachers' Day, there is news that the long awaited bonuses would not come on time. This means DepEd once more has failed to act on its own memorandum (No. 33, s.2014):

Teachers are our future. They deserve no less than our deepest respect. Happy World Teachers' Day to all our mentors.


  1. Sad to say about the plight of our teachers, I must agree with your opinion. As if an Ateneo graduate does not 'deserve' to become simply a 'teacher' in a public school. Sabrina Ongkiko's mother had high regard for the medical profession but not on the teaching profession. Maybe that's true to our society as a whole, we don't really value and have high respect for our teachers than how we value doctors or engineers. As to her father, ( a FORMER ACTIVIST at that), he thinks she doesnt have a future in teaching and even joked that he would cook longganisa or bake cakes for her daughter so that she can sell them in school to augment her meager salary. Truly denigrating.


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