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Sophia Fatima L.

Ruelo National Service Training Program (NSTP)


NSTP-4 September 6, 2018

Ang Mga Guro ng Malining

1. What are the challenges that Teachers Claudine, Grace and Jericho face every month
just to get to Malining Elementary School? Enumerate and explain.

First of all, Malining Elementary School is a two-day walk from Tanay, Rizal. This walk
entails passing through the Sierra Madre, which is a mountain range filled with tropical
rainforests, so they must endure heavy rains and crossing rivers with strong currents, as
well as walking through floods and a lot of mud. Secondly, their teaching location has no
signal or electricity, so they have absolutely no means of communicating with their
families or other loved ones. Money is also an issue, since almost half of their salary
automatically goes to the people they hire to carry everything they will be needing when
they make the journey to the elementary school. On top of all of this, they are required to do
this every month, as they were assigned to this public school despite it being quite far away
from their homes, which was not what they were expecting when they first applied to teach.

2. Based on what you have watched in the documentary, why do you think the Teachers
of Malining go the extra mile to teach the children in the school?

Personally, I think these teachers go the extra mile because they know that their
students really look up to them. In the documentary, it was shown that the kids wait for
them outside the classroom doors, while most kids just opt to sit down in class and wait
for their teachers. This shows that the children really look forward to the teachers' visits
every month, and this really inspires them to go through everything they had to in the
documentary in order for these kids to receive a proper education. In addition to that, I
believe that they see it as their responsibility to teach and look after these kids, since no
one else would climb a mountain for two days every month just to do so. These people are
some of the unsung heroes of this country, and I wish that they could be given more credit
than just one documentary, since they definitely deserve more recognition for what they do.

3. What sacrifices do the Teachers have to make to pursue their vocation of teaching?
Several have been mentioned in the film. Enumerate and explain.

First and most important of all, these teachers chose to be away from their families
in order to pursue their vocation of teaching. Not only are they away from their families, but
they also have absolutely no means of communicating with them while they are away. It
was shown in the documentary that one of the female teachers was writing a letter to her
daughters, and her daughter could never even read it since there was no post office as well.
In addition to that, their monetary expenses are sacrificed as well, since they have to spend
for supplies they need while they are up in the mountains, as well as payment for the
people who will be carrying their things throughout the journey. Their job requires a lot of
sacrifice from them, and it really shows their nobility and determination in what they do.

4. In your words, describe to us the situation of Patrick and Paolo (the brothers featured
in the documentary). What happens to them after Grade 6? In your opinion, how
could this be fixed?

Patrick and Paolo are two brothers who were featured in the documentary along with
the Teachers of Malining. After graduating from Grade 6, they were forced to work as either
farmers or ​kargadors​, since their family is quite underprivileged and there are almost no
other options for them. Although they dream of finishing their education and getting a
better life, it is just not feasible since their family is living way below the poverty line. In my
opinion, this could be fixed if our government focused their educational projects toward
supporting the schools in rural areas, as this will allow the children to receive a better
quality of education, and will open more windows of opportunity for them as well. Another
way could be through exposure via social media, since I feel that most people are not very
aware of what is happening in their situations, but if they actually were, I genuinely believe
that a lot of people would be willing to help, especially those who are financially capable.

5. After watching the documentary, define what it now means to be civic minded? How
can you apply this to your NSTP subject?

In my opinion, being civic minded is recognizing the needs of other people, and doing
everything in your power to fulfill these needs. It is about going the extra mile just to make
a change in other people's lives, even if this puts you at a slight disadvantage, just like the
Teachers of Malining. Basically, it is all about working for the common good, doing what you
can to make life better for other people, and for yourself as well. As to how I can apply this to
my NSTP subject, I really hope that I can do all of this once we start our immersion with the
various partner communities. Even if it is only done once a week for a few hours, I hope that
I can use my privilege for the benefit of other people, and lend a helping hand for other
people who are not capable of helping even themselves, especially the underprivileged and
the people who live in poverty in our country.

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