February 22, 2020 — Despite the unprecedented challenges the world experienced due to the COVID-19 pandemic, people still went out and expressed their love in different ways.
As uncertainty and fear dawned upon communities, medical workers, volunteer groups, media, civil servants, and other frontliners came to the rescue and provided the comfort and love the society needs. They went above and beyond their duty to ensure that society will remain hopeful for better days.
Teachers, too, did their part. Despite extreme issues on how to deliver education amidst the public health situation, they did not abandon their noble duty for their learners. On October 5, 2020, some 800,000 educators formally started their most difficult mission yet –to quickly adjust to teach in a distance learning set-up as face-to-face classes were prohibited.
Guided by the Basic Learning Continuity Plan (BE-LCP), public school teachers eagerly learned the ropes of being outside the classroom, and inside radio stations or TV studios to continue to spread the message of love and hope for their learners.
‘Work of heart’
Teacher Angielyn Delos Reyes of Cay-ayan Integrated School in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon is one of the teachers who accepted the challenges of the new normal in education. Her dedication led her to anchor one of her Division’s radio-based program.
“Malaking karangalan ang maging bahagi ng Radio-based Instruction Program ng aming sangay na pinamagatang “PALIMANI” isang indigenous term na ibig sabihin ay “makinig”. Ito ay napakagandang learning modality kaagapay ng modular learning bilang tugon sa bagong pamamaraan ng pag-aaral,” Teacher Angielyn shared.
She noted that RBI is suited to Malaybalay City, where weak internet connectivity and cellphone signal are common issues. With the help of partners and local radio stations, DXDB 594, DXIQ 106.3 FM, and Love Radio Malaybalay, they produced radio episodes for learners and parents. Their program is also aired and live-streamed on the DepEd Malaybalay Facebook page.
As for Teacher Angielyn, being a radio broadcaster is not an easy job as they need to be an effective live program host to catch the ears of their stakeholders. They must also be careful in their choice of words since it is a live airing and once they say something wrong, they will not be able to edit it. However, her love for the learners and education is what makes her move forward.
“Naniniwala ako na ang pag-aaral ay kailangang magpatuloy sa kabila ng pandemyang ito. Ang Radio-Based Instruction Program ay maituturing kong pinaka ligtas at madaling pamamaraan ng pag-aaral sa panahong ito.”
“Bilang isang guro hangad kong makapagbigay ng dekalidad na edukasyon para sa lahat ng gustong matuto sa kahit anong paraan na kaya ko. At isa ang programang ito na tutulong upang makapaghatid kami ng kaalaman sa mas malawak na pamamaraan,” she added.
For Teacher Angielyn, being a teacher is a “work of heart” as it can build the dreams of the learners.
“In everything you do, you must put your heart into it. Bilang isang guro, malaking bahagi sa isip at puso mo ang iyong mga mag-aaral. Responsibilidad nating mabigyan sila ng dekalidad na edukasyon at maging inspirasyon sa pag abot ng kanilang mga pangarap.”
Teacher Esteve Nulada of Apo Macote National High School is also a Radio-Based Instruction teacher shares the same dedication of Teacher Angielyn.
After two years in the Department and due to the current setup of schooling, he tried to be a “Guro sa Radyo”, believing that he can educate more learners through the radio.
“Ang pagmamahalan at pag-ibig sa bawat isa ay parang isang Bayanihan. Na kung saan, sama-sama tayong nagtutulungan sa bawat dagok na kinakaharap. Na kung saan, walang iwanan sa kahit anong hirap sa buhay. At kung saan, mayroong suporta ang bawat isa na nagbibigay buhay sa lahat,” he said.
Teacher Esteve believes that providing education may be difficult at times but the heart for service of teachers will surpass the challenges brought by the pandemic.
“Sa aking kapwa guro, alam ko pong may kanya-kanya tayong pagsubok na kinakaharap pero hiling ko lamang po ay patuloy lang po tayo sa pagsuporta, pag-motivate at pag-encourage ng ating mga mag-aaral. Na patuloy lang tayo pag-spread ng ating pagmamahal sa ating mga mag-aaral. Patuloy lang natin iparamdam sa kanila ang ating walang humpay na suporta,” he said.
“Sa mga mag-aaral, kahit anong pagsubok ang dumaan, huwag na huwag kayong bibitiw sapagkat kaming mga guro ninyo ay handang handa na making sa bawat problema ninyo. Huwag ninyong kalimutan na sa bawat problemang kinakaharap, may nakalaang solusyon,” Teacher Esteve added.
‘Pangako, pangarap, pagkatao at pag-ibig’
“Ang pagtuturo o pagiging guro kasi ay hindi lamang ito usaping bolpen, LP, modyul, grado – pangako, pangarap, pagkatao at pag-ibig, ito ang buhay ng guro.”
This is Teacher Pamela Amor Villanueva’s words to live by as a teacher. Coincidentally, her passion for education led her to become one of the pioneering teacher-broadcasters of DepEd TV, an initiative of the Department to provided accessible learning platforms in the blended learning approach.
A Grade 10 educator in Bagong Silang National High School in Caloocan, Teacher Pam found her pathway to make teaching more enjoyable amidst our current situation. According to her, she was just encouraged by her friend to apply for the teacher-broadcaster position since DepEd TV was just launched as part of the distance learning modality of the Department.
“Gaya nang madalas kong sabihin, hindi ko alam na may ganiyong aplikasyon. Tinag lang ako ng kaibigan ko at nagkaroon ng pustahan na kahit pa ayaw ko, basta magpasa ako ng video,” shared Teacher Pam.
“Kaya laking gulat ko rin na nakuha ako at nandito pa ako. Sobra ang excitement sa simula talaga. Napakarami mong expectations at plans kumbaga pag nandun ka na,” she added.
Before spotlights have been focused on her, she already shared her story in a DepEd Commons Serye episode entitled ‘Mikropono’. Teacher Pam stated that ever since she was a child, she dreamed of being a celebrity or being featured in a television show. But, she chose the path of being a teacher to provide hope and knowledge to learners. Little did she know that even amidst the challenges of the pandemic and despite her profession as of now, she could still live in her dream.
Reflecting on her journey and sacrifices, Teacher Pam said that she drew inspiration to her children who have been supportive to her from the beginning.
In this season of love, Teacher Pam wants to inspire more people through her passion in front of the camera.
“Malaki ang nagagawa ng pagmamahal – mas maganda kung ikaw mismo nagmahahal sa bawat hakbang mo, sa bawat pangarap mo, sa mga batang dumadaan sa iyo, sa mga magulang na nagtitiwala sa iyo, sa mga kaibigan at kapwa mo guro na nakakasama mo, sa sarili mo.”
Overcoming Challenges, One Episode at a Time
The sacrifices of Teachers Angielyn, Esteve, and Pam do not go unnoticed for learners like Allyssa Cassandra Q. Zapanta, a Grade 9 student from General Emilio Aguinaldo National High School (GEANHS), Imus, Cavite.
Currently undergoing online and Television-based Instruction (TVI) learning, Allyssa attested to many teachers’ dedication and passion despite the pandemic.
“Pero sa tulong ng mga magulang ko at mga taong nagmamahal sa akin pati na po ang kaguruan po naovercome ko po ito [challenges] at kinakaya ko po at nagpapatuloy. And siyempre po andiyan po si God na pinoproteksyunan at ginagabayan po tayo sa lahat ng ginagawa natin,” Allyssa shared.
With the unwavering support of her family and teachers, she is optimistic that nothing can stop her from fulfilling her dreams and aspirations.
“Dahil may pangarap po ako, hindi puwede magpatalo sa mga pagsubok na ‘yan dahil [may] gusto [akong] marating. Ginagawa ko ito para masuklian yung mga ginagawang paghihirap [ng aking magulang] para mapag-aral at mabuhay kami,” Allyssa emphasized.