By Rhaydz B. Barcia
TIWI, Albay, April 28 (PNA) — For spending most of his life in public service through public school mentoring, the Civil Service Commission Bicol regional office has nominated a mobile teacher in Albay for the Dangal ng Lahi Award.
The CSC said Amar Canicula, a mobile teacher of the Department of Education (DepEd) working in this town, rightly deserves to get the award this year.
Canicula started to work as a mobile teacher of the DepEd's Alternative Learning System (ALS) seven years ago and was assigned in this town, about one hour's ride north of Legazpi City, claiming that he is so blessed working with impoverished communities.
On my first day of service in the community as a public school teacher, I feel so blessed because this is what I want to do in my life: to serve the poorest of the poor, the neglected and underprivileged people in our society, specifically the indigenous communities in Tiwi, an under-served community, who live through hand-to-mouth existence, he said.
The public school teacher said that through the ALS program, he wanted to be a part of these people's dreams.
A mobile teacher lives a simple life, reaching out to community, particularly in the far-flung and mountainous areas where the indigenous people dwell.
"As an ALS teacher, I have encountered a lot of struggles and difficulties in dealing with the barangay officials, the indigenous people, the community and the ALS learners, Canicula said.
He narrated the challenges he encountered in the upland areas as a mobile teacher.
He said a mobile teacher is considered as elite in the community in which he works, as it is composed of out-of-school youths, non-readers, working people and even senior citizens wanting to read, learn and write and be at par with their educated children.
Nevertheless, my passion to work with the community is even stronger despite of complexities. As a mobile teacher, Im earning an honest penny money, but even so, part of my income goes to the community I am serving, Canicula said.
He said he is not rich but then his goal is to help, to share his knowledge and educate them.
"So in this way, I can impart knowledge and walk the talk of the DepEd ALS program to open up their hearts and minds to value education, thus, use their precious time to learn even under the tree or in a room without a wall, the volunteer teacher said, adding, In times of intricacy, I hold on to my faith in God and His grace as my ultimate weapons and strength to stand up against all odds," he said.
Working with the less fortunate and uneducated indigenous people is challenging as, Canicula said, he has to widen his horizon, patience and tolerance.
The IPs culture, beliefs and faith brings a big influence in their daily life, the reason why a lot of IPs have not finished their studies, even elementary or secondary, causing them to live in poverty and adopt a negative attitude, the mobile teacher said.
But once you win their hearts and minds, thus, convince the learners to embrace education with their limited time, it is like 'bingo' for me as if I won the lottery for sending them back to school," he said. (PNA)