March 27, 2023

Let’s start with a prayer of strength and courage.
“Dear Lord, I come before You and ask for Your strength within me. A strength not of the world but of Your kingdom. To refrain from judgement and feast on love. To push out greed and hold tight to joy. To dispel pride and rise with humility. To quell anger and rest in self control. To shun greed and rest in giving. To turn from power and embrace service. To let go of resentment and rest in peace. To push through fear and walk forwards in grace. To run with faith, soar with forgiveness, and allow your eternal strength to abide with me.”

FYI: Department of Education-Cordillera Director May Eclar reported a smooth opening of classes last Oct. 5 for all the eight school divisions in the region with the figures to still increase with late enrollees in the coming weeks. As of Oct. 6, there are 400,105 enrollees in public schools in the region for school year 2020-2021.
There are more enrollees in the elementary with 193,584 (48.38 percent) followed by Junior High School with 124,627 (31.15 percent); Senior High with 44,944 (11.24 percent); kindergarten with 28,299 (7.07 percent); while there are 8,091 (2.02 percent) Alternative Learning System enrollees and 560 (0.14 percent) learners with disability in Special Education.

Surfing the Internet, this near-sighted Ibaloy writer learned that Oct. 5 of every year is World Teachers Day. Since 1994, the event commemorates the anniversary of the adoption of the 1966 International Labor Organization and Unesco recommendation concerning the status of teachers.
I am blessed to have a loving mother, Dr. Emma Baban Keith, who was a teacher most of her life. She taught in the elementary, secondary, and college levels at various points in a long and fruitful career at the Mountain State Agricultural College, now Benguet State University.
At 77, mama is still lovely and sharp. She continues to remind her children and grandchildren to read the Bible. My late father, Atty. Gabriel Pawid Keith, lectured at Baguio Central University’s Graduate School for a short while. It is where I am presently trying to earn my PhD, emphasis on “trying to.” Several of my relatives are retired teachers with some still active in teaching.
It’s about time that those in the “noblest profession” are given better salaries and benefits. Enough of empty promises from elected leaders who are supposed to be “honourable.” Majority of teachers are still overworked and underpaid. No wonder many go abroad as domestic helpers to provide brighter futures for their families. More fun in the Philippines? Maybe for oligarchs and political dynasties.

Here’s “Now We Are Six ” by A.A. Milne: “When I was One,/ I had just begun./ When I was Two,/
I was nearly new./ When I was Three/ I was hardly me./ When I was Four,/ I was not much more./ When I was Five,/ I was just alive./ But now I am Six,/ I’m as clever as clever,/ So I think I’ll be six now/ for ever and ever.”
May our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ continue to bless and keep us all safe.