Let me devote this piece to a very significant event that we are now commemorating which started last Sept. 5 and will end on Oct. 5. This is the month during which we honor the heroes and heroines that we seldom remember and even ignore although they contribute a lot in molding our character and developing our minds so that we will learn and understand important lessons necessary in our chosen fields of endeavor. They are of course the teachers in the schools we attended from elementary until college.
This month-long event is the “National Teachers’ Month” which was first celebrated in this country in 2008 inspired by the celebration of the “World Teachers’ Day” on Oct. 5 every year as declared by the United Nations Educational and Scientific Organization (UNESCO) in 1993. The campaign was spearheaded by MetroBank Foundation Inc. president Aniceto Sobrepena and Bro, Armin Luistro, FSC, the president of De LaSalle University at that time. The celebration is aimed at paying tribute to the heroism and sacrifice of Filipino teachers through the simple act of saying thank you. The symbolic logo of the student and teacher reading together to form a heart with a golden yellow background is “My Teacher, My Hero” which became the face of the campaign for its continuing advocacy.
The banner years of the campaign were the years 2011 and 2012 when Presidential Proclamation 242 was issued declaring the period from Sept. 5 to Oct. 5, of every year as National Teachers’ Month (NTM). With the relaunching of the campaign in said year, a National Teachers Month Coordinating Council was formed composed of various government agencies, educational institutions, private companies and non-government organizations – all sharing the advocacy of appreciating teachers through several unique initiatives. Then in January 2016, another milestone for the movement was achieved when Republic Act (RA) 10743, otherwise known as “An Act Declaring the Fifth Day of October of Every Year as the National Teachers’ Day,” was signed. So pursuant to this law, the NTM’s culminating activity has been set on National Teachers’ Day every year.
The National Teachers’ Month (NTM) aims to convince the people to appreciate the contributions of Filipino teachers and to recognize the nobility of the profession. At the forefront of the activities aimed at generating awareness and expressions of gratitude to teachers through various means is the NTM council. In 2008, the Teachers’ Month Campaign (TMC) was conceived with the theme “Teacher Ko, Idol Ko.” It was relaunched in 2009 with the official tagline “My Teacher, My Hero.”
Since its inception in 2008, the NTM was able to achieve the following: (1) support from the State; (2) involvement of more partners in the government and private sectors with a total of 532 initiatives enrolled in the NTM Calendar of Activities from 2012 to 2014 and an annual increase of participating organizations since 2008; (3) Significant mileage in print, broadcast and online with a pecuniary value of P600 million from 2012 to 2015; (4) significant Facebook engagement of the general public with a reach of 720,000 in 2015; and (5) Two (2) invitations to UNESCO Paris for World Teachers Day celebration and an endorsement from UNESCO Philippines to participate in the prestigious Hamdan Prize for Education.
Through the years some of the highlights of the NTM were in 2012 when the MetroBank Foundation Inc. was invited to share the NTM initiative at the UNESCO World Teachers’ Day celebration in Paris France. Then in 2014 the NTM Digital Celebration was held for the first time. In 2015, more than 6,000 teachers participated in the first World Teachers’ Day celebration in the Philippines at the Philippine Sports Arena. Last year 2017, collaborative efforts were made to intensify the culture of appreciation for teachers by holding a three day experiential lecture series in partnership with the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) and the National Museum.
And so for this year 2018 the tenth year anniversary of the NTM, let us enhance the culture of appreciation and gratitude and honor even more our classroom heroes and heroines. With the theme of “Gratitude In10tensified,” let us focus on the 4 A’s of Gratitude for our teachers.
The first A is Appreciation. It is expressing our gratitude for teachers and the extraordinary work they do so that they will feel rightfully valued and esteemed. The second A is Admiration or giving praise to teachers we look up to and who touched our lives in order to show that we hold them in high regard and respect. The third A is for Approval, by duly recognizing their best practices within and beyond duty in order to affirm their role in nation building. And the fourth A is for Attention by taking careful heed of their plights in order to help them act upon their needs and concern so that they may better lives and thus become more effective teachers.
Let us therefore continue to honor and express our gratitude to our teachers by always remembering and celebrating the NTM specially the Teachers Day every Oct. 5. We owe a lot to them for what has become of us now. As for me the best lessons I have learned from my teachers are patience, perseverance and dedication to my profession. The work I am doing now especially in tri-media where I share the basic knowledge of the laws of our country and impart important lessons in life based on the Gospel message of Love, is obviously inspired by my teachers.
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