Prioritize well-being of children, students, parents, teachers told

Former Education Secretary Bro. Armin Luistro urged parents and teachers gearing up for a very challenging school year ahead to always “prioritize” the well-being of their children and students.

(Photo courtesy of DepEd / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

“These are very difficult times, I’m sure you know that our lives have already been disrupted but more than that, our teachers and our parents are very anxious -- they have a lot of fears about the coming school year,” Luistro said in a town hall meeting organized by Rotary District 3830 on Sept. 1.

Manila Bulletin Executive Vice President Sonny Coloma who served as one of the moderators in the forum said that the meeting was held to find out the concerns of parents and teachers as the education system shifts into distance learning this school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a video message, Luistro congratulated Rotary District 3830 for coming up with the initiative to help parents and teachers as they cope and adjust to the education in the new normal.

As the country continues to grapple with the impact of the pandemic, Luistro noted that teachers and parents become anxious especially when it comes to their children and students.

“This is exactly what I want to address, in very simple terms,” he said. “Trust your instincts, trust your heart -- you can never, ever go wrong,” he added.

Luistro, Department of Education Secretary from 2010-2016, enjoined teachers to always put the welfare of the students at the center of every or any alternative learning delivery modality. “You know, at the end of the day, we can learn all the skills and upgrade all our competencies but all always make sure that you trust your instincts,” he said.

Teachers, Luistro said, should know what is the best for their students. “You know your students, you’ve worked with them for years,” he explained. “Have the learner the center of every decision and in every move - and you will never, ever go wrong,” he added.

Amid the challenges in the new education landscape, Luistro expressed confidence that teachers will be able to cope with the changes ahead. “You can always trust that within you is a power to touch them -- in their minds and in their hearts (so) trust your instincts, my beloved teachers,” he added.

Aside from teachers, Luistro urged parents to be “parents first.” As parents are expected to play a bigger role in the education of their children this school year, many of them are getting anxious even before the formal school year starts on Oct. 5.

“Learning happens only when there is trust and when there is love,” Luistro said. “In fact, no learning ever happens unless those are part of that whole landscape,” he added.