MANILA, Philippines - While some teachers opt to go abroad for better pay, 2 outstanding teachers chose to say no to job offers abroad and just stay in the Philippines and teach here.
Evelyn Caja, a special education teacher at Ramon Magsaysay High School, has been teaching visually impaired students for more than 30 years now. For her, teaching is a vocation.
|Evelyn Caja of Ramon Magsaysay High School
"Ano man ang ginagawa kong kabutihan sa aking kapwa, parang ginagawa ko na rin sa Kanya 'yon," said Caja, referring to God.
Her job is not easy. She has to translate all the textbook lessons into Braille so her students can understand them.
Angelica Pulo, student of Caja, appreciates the work that her teacher puts in. "Para sa 'kin, siya po ang nagsilbing inspirasyon para sa iba pong blind na naka-graduate na po dito," she said.
"Pag mahal mo ang trabaho mo, lahat ng posibilidad, makikita mo. Walang imposible," said Caja.
Jojie Calamlam of the Center for Teacher and Learning at the Philippine Normal University has written a number of books. But she is more known for her dedication to her job.
|Jojie Calamlam of the Philippine Normal University's Center for Teacher and Learning
"Sabi ko sa sarili ko, 'Saan ba ako mas magiging masaya? Masaya ba ako sa malaking kita? O maliit nga ang kita pero alam kong kailangan ako?'" said Calamlam.
Nothing beats the satisfaction she gets, she said, when her students learn their lessons and thank her for helping them.
Both Caja and Calamlam were named most outstanding teachers of the country, and have received job offers to teach abroad. However, they both chose to stay in the country and make a difference in the lives of Filipino students.
Paying it forward
One other public school teacher is made of the same mold as Caja and Calamlam.
|Armand Lagria of Bilar National High School in Bohol. Credit: Globe Telecom
Armand Lagria, 29, is a computer teacher in Bohol. Without the benefit of honoraria, Lagria conducts computer training to around 80 public school teachers from the town of Bilar.
"I have to exert more to mentor fellow teachers as a GFT (Global Filipino Teacher) graduate," said Lagria.
GFT is the training program spearheaded by Globe Telecom which aims to improve the knowledge, skills, and attitude of public school teachers all over the country in the application of ICT-enabled learning environments.
The program is held in partnership with the Cebu-based Coalition for Better Education, which promotes education development through policy advocacy, community involvement, research, training and development.
Lagria said teaching educators web-based skills helps students in the long run. “It will help the class. Nowadays students learn more by integrating technology in a class. They are more eager to learn,” explained Lagria.
Through the program, he learned the project-based learning (PBL) approach in teaching. “Students discover their own learning through PBL. There is authentic learning, because it is the students experiencing the lessons. They’re the ones doing the activity,” said Lagria.
For Caja, Calamlam, and Lagria, students' learning is topmost priority. -- With report from Niña Corpuz, ABS-CBN News