Group slams infomercial about teachers in the new normal

Published October 9, 2020, 12:29 AM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

A group of private schools on Thursday expressed concern about an infomercial showing how teachers adjust to the “new normal” – noting that this might promote negative values among students.

While it recognizes the importance of adapting to the new ways of delivering education amid  the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federation of Associations of Private Schools Administrators (FAPSA) criticized an infomercial released by “Gabay Guro” for the celebration of World Teachers’ Day (WTD) this year.
“Gabay Guro” is a joint program of the PLDT-Smart Foundation (PSF) and the PLDT Managers Club Inc. (MCI) which aims to support and honor teachers through scholarship grants, teacher’s training, livelihood, teachers’ tribute, housing and other programs.
Recognizing that “it was not only our nation’s children and their parents who struggled to adjust” to the new normal of learning, “Gabay Guro” made an infomercial highlighting how teachers need assistance as they navigate to digital or online learning.
In the infomercial, a woman is seen talking to “someone” – giving that person specific instructions and reminders on the things that need to be done.

Initially, it seemed that the woman is a mother giving her child reminders before going to work.

However, it was revealed in the end that the woman was talking to her mother – who was a teacher – all along.

“FAPSA knows about the importance of connectivity this pandemic on any learning modality and we appreciate the concern of the daughter-teacher to her mother but the Filipino value of respect of children to parents is sacrificed in the infomercial,” said President Eleazardo Kasilag. 
For Kasilag, the daughter in the infomercial was “very disrespectful” because she did not show Filipino courtesy – especially in the use of “po” and “opo.” He added that her tone was “very bossy and disregarded family values” – thus, giving a wrong impression especially to younger children.
Kasilag added that the infomercial is very “un-Filipino” because it leaves a “bad taste in the mouth.” Instead of honoring the teacher, he added that this might put the image of the teacher in a bad light.

Given this, FAPSA is requesting the makers of the said infomercial to make some “corrections” by showing how Internet or technology can become a “tool to promote” love for the family – among others.