Why have I chosen to be an educational reform advocate? (Last of two parts)

(continued from last week)

Just last week, I elaborated the reasons why I have decided to become an educational reform advocate. To provide you, my dear readers, with context, I also shared with you my experiences (past and current) as a teacher as well as my motivations in fighting for educational reform and my sentiments towards our educational system.
Hemming and hawing has no place for every educational reform advocate because for one to become a staunch advocate, one must have a firm stance on educational issues. Second, one must propose actions that are not only mutually beneficial but also sustainable in the long term and practical to boot. Third, an educational reform advocate needs to be objective and incisive in dissecting issues without any vested interest or hidden anger waiting to explode anytime.

With the rate that our educational system is going, it is definitely going to the dogs, even if I do not have to implore Jimmy Licauco or Tony Perez to call for Nostradamus, Jackie Stallone, Jojo Acuin, or Madam Auring to make predictions on our country’s educational system as well as on the fate of DepEd Secretary Leonor “Catherine the Great” Briones and her undersecretaries and of Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chairperson J. Prospero “Popoy/Peter the Great” de Vera III and his commissioners.

What have I learned from being an educational reform advocate?
One of the lessons I have learned in being an educational reform advocate is how to use tumultuous experiences in order to develop a strong voice and a formidable stance, especially as far as educational reform is concerned. There are a bevy of platforms that we can use to air our concerns and to empathize with our learners, teachers, and other stakeholders.

I have learned how to read more voraciously not only to be informed but also to critique issues permeating our educational landscape. It is not enough that we know how to read and digest what we read because we also have to learn how to evaluate whether what we read is valid or invalid, or better yet, true or false. By being a columnist for The Ilocos Sentinel and an educational reform advocate, I have learned how to connect the dots as far as educational issues and actual practices are concerned.
A third lesson I have learned is that it is not enough to be knowledgeable yet passive. I have realized that being active, even by way of writing, counts the most because as a taxpayer and a citizen of our country, I have the right to air my concerns, especially when focusing on educational issues. I am not afraid to speak my mind and even if it would not sit well with Secretary Liling and Chairperson Popoy, I would not have to kowtow to them because after all, they just happen to be salaried courtesy of our taxes.
I have realized that it is not enough to be a teacher who just teaches and does what is expected of me. In the final analysis, a teacher who is also an educational reform advocate is never known to be passive or passive-aggressive. Rather, he/she is known for being principled, honest, selfless, collaborative, and proactive.
Do I have regrets?
Not at all!
Am I going to lose everything and gain nothing?
Not at all, of course! In fact, I am gaining more courage and foresight as I write!
I know that I am right, though there are times when I tend to be extremely impassioned in my writing. Since I am writing in the interest of public service and I am pointing out a public official and his/her performance of his/her functions, then I am free to write what I believe in and according to my style.
As long as I do not induce cerebral hemorrhage or myocardial infarction in anyone who reads my column, it suits me. However, if I happen to stir a hornet’s nest just because I stated a fact, then it would not be my fault anymore.
For as long as I am alive, I will continue writing for The Ilocos Sentinel no matter where I may be and make sure that many would come to read my column weekly.
I now feel that I am serving our learners’ and teachers’ purposes. It surely feels good to live not for myself alone but for the millions of learners and teachers whom I fight for.

Happy Mothers’ Day to all mothers worldwide!
For the first time, I will be sharing with you my original poem about mothers, whom we have to appreciate, love, and care for because no matter what happens, a mother’s love stays:
Mother, you are not only a beacon of hope but a pillar of fortitude
Because you have molded us not only in skills but also in attitude.
We may not say it directly, but we recognize your pains and joys
From the time we were born until we had to give up our toys.
You have nurtured us in your womb and provided us with food that nourish
And you have been our source of succor for our every failure and anguish.
People may call you, in speech and writing, “ilaw ng tahanan”
But you are also pillars in more ways than one.
Your love is unconditional, coming from a heart that is massive
And with your mirth, we feel like every day is Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
We children may be amiss at times in spending time with you.
Nevertheless, our love and concern for you is pure and true.Treating our every wound, cooking every meal, and comforting us in times of sorrow
Make us, your children, more resilient as we face tomorrow.
Forgiving our every wrong, mending fences in the family, and singing us a lullaby
Are memories that enthuse us as we reminisce days gone by.
Mother, you have taught us how to love, to dream, to strive, and to live fully
Despite our every failure, heartbreak, and folly.
Never will we forsake you even as we have our own lives
And be joined in holy matrimony by our husbands or wives.
We thank you for your sacrifices, big or small,
And this time, we will reciprocate your love after all.
In time, we may grow, weather, and wither
But your love for us is never ephemeral but forever.

If you have suggestions in terms of the education-related topics that you want me to feature, please feel free to send me an email to edteo.ramos@yahoo.com or to coachjet.inspirations@gmail.com and I will reply to you as soon as I receive your email.