imyeyes-banner-sqIn My EyesBy Edward B. Antonio

Teachers’ Protection Law and GMRC’s return

When I was in high school many summers back, I came across a teacher who had a different personality from the rest of the male teachers. He was dominant as he was the bully type.

Whenever he reprimanded some students, he would bully and threaten them: “Loko, kayatmo ta paltoganka?”

This went on until the middle of the school year.

Then, he got what he wanted.

One afternoon, 5 fourth year boys waited for the teacher to come out of the school campus. Once the teacher stepped out of the campus, the 5 boys waited for the right moment and then bog! pak! bog!

They mauled the teacher until he became black and blue.

The 5 boys were allegedly had been bullied by the teacher since class opening. They got tired of being bullied and so they retaliated. The 5 boys came from an eastern barangay with a history of killings and where many of the town’s siga-siga came from.

Well, that’s many years ago, fellas.

Nowadays, it’s the other way around.

You have heard of a teacher being bullied by her students who belong to the elite circle because the teacher just came from a so-so clan or a teacher being disrespected by her students.

The so-called Child Protection Policy has given the students a lot of rights while neglecting the rights of teachers.

Many teachers, particularly those working in public schools, face the dilemma of trying to instill discipline in their students because a lot of so-called ‘bad students’ could easily turn the tables on them, accusing them of maltreatment.

With the aim to protect teachers from ‘bad students’ and saving them from unfair cases, party-list ACT Teachers Representatives Antonio Tinio and France Castro filed the “Teacher Protection Act” or House Bill 9065.

“We filed the teacher protection bill in response to the clamor of teachers having a hard time in instilling discipline in their classrooms,” Tinio explained. “With large class sizes, multiple shifts each day, and the heavier and additional tasks they have to assume, many teachers can attest that instilling discipline in their classrooms has become increasingly difficult.”

A lot of parents expect that teachers will instill discipline in their children because they find that difficult to do at home; yet many of them also complain when teachers do impose discipline on the kids. Some even file charges against the teacher.

“Classroom management is a process of creating and maintaining appropriate behavior of students in classroom settings. There is a lack of institutional support in the form of standards and the permissible and effective methods of instilling discipline, guidance counselors to act as support personnel, and legal assistance and representation for our teachers,” Castro explained. “This bill seeks to amend RA 7610 insofar as any act committed by a teacher or school staff pursuant to the disciplinary rules and procedure issued by the Department of Education shall not be deemed as ‘child abuse’ and to lay down institutionalized support mechanisms for teachers and school personnel in matters of classroom management and discipline.”

Another difficulty for teachers is how to restrain learners from speaking bad words. Bad words nowadays are a common expression among children in the elementary and high school. Where else did they learn these words, fellas? Of course, at home and in their neighborhood.

Other students are now getting rude. They would bully their classmates verbally or through the social media. And when they are reprimanded by their teachers, here come their bully parents to defend their bully children!

These are some of the reasons why some senators on vowed to expedite the passage into law of the measure that would institutionalize the teaching of values education and good manners and right conduct (GMRC) in public schools.

Reports say that the bill seeks to revive the teaching of values formation and GMRC as a separate subject to teach students the practical and acceptable manners of conducting daily affairs according to universal norms of ethics and morality.

“Yes, we need to bring back values education in the curriculum; that includes, good morals and right conduct,” Sen. Win Gatchalian told reporters in an interview after conducting a hearing on the issue.

Gatchalian, who chairs the Senate committee on basic education, noted that educators have given little importance to the teaching of values education in the elementary and high school in the last 49 years.

“So it’s important that we give it equal emphasis similar to traditional subjects like Math, Science and English,” he said. “This is very important because this will pave the way for helping the new generation learn the right values which is essential to our future as a nation.”

  The senators who filed separate measures institutionalizing the GMRC in the K to 12 curriculums are Senators Gatchalian, Joel Villanueva and Juan Miguel Zubiri. Once the measure is enacted into law, the teaching of values education and GMRC will be conducted for one hour per day for both elementary and high school class and as a separate subject.

Teacher Protection Law and the return of GMRC?

Maybe we need these 2 things, fellas, to turn things around.

They may just be the reforms we have been waiting for a long, long time. ●