The National Teachers’ Month (NTM) celebration from September 5 to October 5 once again rallied the Filipino public to pay tribute to educators who ensure that learning never stops amid the disruptions brought by the prolonged health crisis. On its 13th year, the campaign sustained the theme “I teach for a better future” as a nod to the dedication of teachers, mentors, and coaches to bridge gaps and push for the continuity of quality instruction.
At the helm of this annual tradition are Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI), the Department of Education (DepEd), and a consortium of organizations from the government, business, academe, media, civil society, and other industries, which are collectively called the NTM Coordinating Council.
The campaign has seen growth in numbers and support over the years, thereby becoming the nationwide celebration which engages even those outside the education sector. In 2011, the Presidential Proclamation No. 242 was issued “declaring the period from 05 September to 05 October of every year as National Teachers’ Month.” Further, in 2016, the Republic Act No. 10743 pronounced October 5th of every year as the National Teachers’ Day.
“We will continue to persevere and stand in solidarity with teachers nationwide, as they continue to empower learners to be the best of who they can be, for a better future,” said Aniceto Sobrepeña, MBFI President and NTM Coordinating Council Co-chair.
“Dear teachers and educators, please continue to be bearers of hope for the country. Through your noble work, our people, not just our learners, will overcome the challenges we face today,” he added.
Enhancing teacher quality and welfare
Beyond saying thank you, the NTM has also become a platform to raise public consciousness about the teachers’ plight and current status of education in the country. This year’s campaign put a special focus on enhancing teacher quality through capacity-building efforts and provision of tools.
“Despite the challenges of implementing distance learning, our dear teachers persevered by acquiring new skills and tools, adjusting their methodologies, and going above and beyond the call of their duty to continue giving their learners a better future,” emphasized Sobrepeña.
The NTM Council plans to contribute to Brigada Pagbasa–a national movement to promote literacy led by World Vision and DepEd—in a bid to improve the teaching capability of teachers in reading and comprehension, which in turn will improve reading proficiency of Filipino learners. In collaboration with World Vision, Metrobank Foundation will also donate risograph machines to selected schools, and lead in encouraging the private sector to provide support for teacher training programs.
Different expressions of gratitude
The month of appreciation was made special by NTM’s network of committed partners and participating organizations that organized their own events and offered treats exclusively for teachers.
Foregoing physical events, a number of organizations hosted webinars and virtual workshops, and donated learning tools to promote personal and professional development. Among them were Bato Balani Foundation, BPI Foundation, City Savings Bank, First Metro Asset Management, Inc., Globe Telecom, Government System Insurance Service, Manila Doctors Hospital, McDonald’s Philippines, Microsoft Philippines, Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, Network of Outstanding Teachers and Educators, Pru Life UK, Philippine Board on Books for Young People, Smart Communications, and Social Security System.
Specialized initiatives such as tribute events, contests, and prayer for teachers were led by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines Girl Scouts of the Philippines, Enchanted Kingdom, Philippine Business for Education, and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.
Meanwhile, several partners offered special treats and discounts. These included BDO Network Bank, Bounty Agro Ventures, Inc., Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, National Book Store, Pascual Consumer Health Care Corp, and Shopee Philippines. Further, GMA Network, Habi Education Lab, and Knowledge Channel Foundation carried out multimedia campaigns.
The NTM culminating celebration will be held on October 5 which coincides with the observance of National Teachers’ Day. DepEd Region VII will lead the event, with the theme “Gurong Filipino: Katuwang sa Hamon, Kasama sa Pagbango,” which will be streamed live on Deped Philippines’ official Facebook page.