Issue of November 4, 2018
     
NEWS
Benguet
 
OPINION
 

2018
Panagbenga Flower Festival
 
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2


Gender equality

 
The World Economic Forum reported that the Philippines has the narrowest gender gap in Asia and ranks 10th in the world. Previously, it placed seventh. Still, it remains top in gender equality in Asia.

In the local scenario, we may not be conscious of the inequalities in gender development. In our school alone, the population of females outnumbers that of the males. Females and males, too, are given equal opportunities when it comes to academic and extra-curricular activities. We don’t live in a time wherein males are the priority and females are just secondary. We are already used to seeing gays wearing make-up, and are gradually getting used to seeing them wear dress or skirt roaming around the city. But is this enough?

This stellar number and community acceptance do not get replicated in critical fields that include science and technology. In academic year 2016-2017, only 29 percent female students enrolled in engineering and technology courses compared with the close 70 percent male enrollees, according to the Commission on Higher Education.

This slanted scenario would be repeated if girls, wives, and mothers would not get out of the stereotype that science and technology is a male’s turf.

Teachers play a critical role in this situation. They should, therefore, facilitate opportunities to encourage more females to enroll and excel in science and technology careers, alongside their male counterparts. Teachers – male and female – should create a classroom climate that promotes diverse team activities where leaders and members rotate roles and focus on solving problems cooperatively at the onset. In this way, female learners get their voices heard and self-esteem propped among their male and female peers in their lower years.

Class discussions should also embrace not only the contributions of male scientists but also the few female scientists who achieved remarkably despite the persistent biases during their time. Remember the case of Mary Anning (1799-1847) who engaged in many observations about prehistoric creatures but was denied membership in the prestigious Geological Society of London because of her gender? It took years after her death before her long sought recognition was afforded to her. In 2010, she was given full credit as one of the top British women in science history.

Notably, teaching – both content and process – should endeavor to inspire female and male learners to realize their dreams in discovering and exploring the world of science and technology with the end of improving and making life and living better for all regardless of gender, age and creed. This is the noble aspiration of every future male and female scientist that teaching should nurture from cradle to grave.

I think we are just gender sensitive; many still live in the notion that work or careers are gender specific – engineering is for boys and fashion design is for girls, among other perceptions. It is then a challenge on the part of the teachers to make students be aware of the so-called gender equality.
 

2


Good relationship makes valley school excel

 
As the years pass, the good relationship built between stakeholders – teachers, pupils, and the community – at Longlong Elementary School in Puguis, La Trinidad, Benguet eliminated boredom and stereotyping and has propagated a culture of continued learning towards academic and non-academic excellence.

Teachers would readily assist a co-teacher, who is given a new task or assignment by sharing new strategies and inputs in her lesson plan. A teacher is assisted in dealing with problem students in the class. Oftentimes, remedial classes are given from 12:30 to 1 p.m. to maximize time.

Longlong ES has so far garnered the Boy Scout National Gold Service Award and the Girl Scout Council Achievement Award, some of the proofs that the school is also actively involved in civic and other extra-curricular activities geared towards improving our pupils.

The school has been a consistent contender in the local government unit-initiated “Clean and Green” Program garnering fourth place last year and improved to second place this year during the search for the “cleanest and greenest” public elementary school in the capital town of Benguet.

The school’s “Gulayan sa Paaralan” received attention and recognition when teachers and pupils began implementing it in 2016 with the assistance of the Parents-Teachers Association.

As our past school principal Regina Sarmiento kept saying: “Always maintain a clean and green surrounding and you will be rewarded with an environment that is conducive to learning.”

The school won the top awards during the district and division level for the Best Brigada Implementer and has subsequently placed third in the regional level search.

In the field of sports, the school’s sepak takraw team brought home second place award during the Benguet Provincial meet last year while sending its badminton boys team for this school year’s provincial meet.

Longlong ES current principal Edgar Vicente has recently pushed for the conduct of a two-day training on campus journalism in a bid to hone the skills of future campus journalists, who will be the media’s partner in spreading truthful information in wake of the spread of false information in the social media. At young age, we teach our pupils to be purveyors of truth.

The school’s student publication won gold during the division-level competitions for the “Best School Paper” and went on to romp away with the bigger gold trophy during the Regional Schools Press Conference last year.

Maybe, these are not considered yet as big achievements at all. Maybe, other outstanding schools have much better performances and achievements that’s why we are not sitting on our laurels.

Meantime, what make us happy is that we have successfully optimized a harmonious working relationship.

This is why stress, one of the challenges in the teaching profession, is avoided and in place is the sincere cooperation we see in everybody.
 

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