Tawid News Magazine

Pregnant teacher walks 2-3 hours to school through rocky cliffs

How difficult is a teacher’s life, fellas?

If you ask teachers of that question today, you may find your android phone lacking in space once you record their difficulties. Things like too much reports, clerical jobs, seminars and trainings, extra-curricular activities, contests and too much contributions are already ordinary things expressed by teachers in the social media site DepEd Tambayan.

To add, teachers are usually tapped during elections, municipal or barangay fiestas, sports festivals, fun runs, tree plantings and other activities where the teachers’ fluency in speech is needed.

You may also read varied reactions in the social media of these complaints.

Some are sympathetic, others are not.

The more non-sympathetic ones would post: “By all means, if you complain of what you do, get out of DepEd. Resign! There are many aspiring teaching graduates ready to take over your position!”

Another one posted: “If you can’t do it, quit!”

How unkind are these comments, fellas.

Here’s the story of Teacher Jay Ann Solibio as told by a certain Joy, a licensed chemist who left the lab for her love of writing. I hope the story will solicit not-so-unkind words from anti-teacher people.

There are many far-flung places in the Philippines that are difficult to access yet have plenty of communities. A lot of these areas have small schools where teachers handle mixed classes because the manpower is too few. Many of these areas are difficult to reach but the teachers have to go there to empower the young minds.

Recently, the story of a pregnant teacher who walks to 2-3 hours to school, passing through seawater by rocky cliffs, touched the hearts of many netizens. Despite being 9 months pregnant, Teacher Jay Ann Solibio has to do that to reach her students at Patag Elementary School Annex in San Jose, Occidental Mindoro.

Teacher Jay Ann shared that she was excited to learn some 4 years ago that she will be assigned to the school after learning its name, but was rather shocked when the ‘patag’ (plains) she expected actually was a mountainous area that is only accessible through a very difficult road.

To reach the school, one has to cross the sea from the main island of Mindoro towards the small island. Then, the long trek will begin. But it’s not an easy walk because Teacher Jay Ann and everyone else, actually, often have to get wet because part of the path is through the sea. They’re lucky to pass through the area at low tide but during high tide, the seawater could reach up to their chest!

The rocky limestone cliffs had sharp, jagged edges that could easily scrape your skin if the seawater pushes you to the side. It’s also possible to get swept away to sea, leading the teachers to ask for life vests but they received none.

The sea trek is just part of the long journey as the teachers hike towards the school. In her condition, Teacher Jay Ann finds it really difficult to walk that far but she has no other choice because she has to reach her pupils.

Because the trek takes too long, the teachers decided to simply live in the community and just go home during weekends. Using their own money, they built small huts near their classrooms. But they still have to make the dangerous trek for home during the weekends, then back to the school again after the short break.

Thankfully, a replacement was finally sent for Teacher Jay Ann. Just like the pregnant teacher, she was also surprised after taking the long trek to ‘Patag.’

Teacher Jay Ann’s story is just one of the many stories that teachers would like to tell, fellas

In August last year, 8 teachers from Lambunao National High School (LNHS) in Iloilo province died while traversing Iloilo Strait on their way to Guimaras State University, Guimaras Island via pumpboat.

Four of them – Ma. Zeny Anilao, Lynlyn Janolino, Ivy Grace Labordo, and Maria Emilie Legarda – were assigned at Lambunao National High School (LNHS) in Lambunao town. The fifth casualty was George Buenavista of Agcuyawan Kalsada Elementary School in Barotac Nuevo town, Iloilo province.

The remaining three casualties were Filipino teachers working in United Arab Emirates (UAE) but were in the country for vacation. They were identified as Jaquelyn Alferez, Andrew Valenzuela, and Eden Perales. The three were with a group of UAE-based Filipino teachers who toured Panay and Guimaras Islands.

The five teachers from Iloilo, all master’s degree students at Guimaras State College, were on their way to Guimaras Island to process their requirements for their comprehensive examination.

Rexie Lorilla, another teacher of LNHS who is Grade 9 Special Program for the Arts adviser, survived the accident along with 31 other passengers of the ill-fated MB Jenny Vince. She lived to tell the story of her co-teachers who perished in the sea.

Teachers play an important role in our life to become successful in career and business. A good teacher helps children to become a good human being in society and a good citizen of the country. Teachers know that students are the future of any nation. So the future development of any nation is in the hands of teachers.

How important are teachers?

Barbara Colorose wisely said: “If kids come to us from strong, healthy functioning families, it makes our job easier. If they do not come to us from strong, healthy, functioning families, it makes our job more important.”

So next time we post unsavory comments against teachers in the social media, think again, fellas.

Everybody is a product of a teacher. ●

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