Every time I visit my wife in the school where she teaches, I am always struck by the signage posted which reads: “Honesty is the Best Policy.”. I was struck by this, not in the sense that I am not honest (although there were times that I was not), but in the extent of practicing such value by professionals manning the public school.
About the Signage that reads: “Honesty is the Best Policy”
You can find such kind of signage in every school, or perhaps in every classroom and office of a public school, because the House of Congress of the Republic of the Philippines, through its Resolution 292 which was adopted by the House of Congress on September 5, 2012, urged the Department of Education to post it in classrooms and offices of the department.
The said resolution was disseminated by the DepEd through its Memorandum number 180, series of 2012, and is implemented throughout the country by the schools’ management.
The Purpose of the Signage that reads: “Honesty is the Best Policy”
The very purpose of the signage is to promote values development. The signage inculcates the minds of the youth for them to become conscientious and upright citizen, practicing such values through their adult life.
In other words, the Philippine government wants its citizens to become honest in every way. But learning to become honest should start (actually at home) at school.
Model of the Honesty
While the students should be taught to be honest, letting them practice honesty is tough especially if they see their teachers practicing dishonesty.
Teaching by example is always the best way of helping the students gain such positive values. And teachers are the one who will show the students, how to do the things that they should learn. If we want the students to learn to be honest, then teachers should show them how. Teachers should strive to avoid showing the students of their dishonesties.
There are many ways teachers could show dishonesty to their pupils or students. Few of them are done through:
(1) Telling Lies or Defamation
There are people who are fond of telling false stories about the lives of other people. This kind of lie is always the content of the gossips they’re talking about.
The thing is, I saw teachers grouped themselves in a corner while their students were playing inside their classrooms, and they’re talking about the lives of their co-teachers.
There are teachers who try to teach their pupils the opposite of what they are doing.
When a student shouted cursing words at the teacher, the teacher scolded the student telling them not to say any bad words. However, this teacher has been using cursed words as if they are just normal words.
Isn’t it a deception? It is!
You see, the teachers are perceived by the young pupils as perfect, and the right ones. Young pupils tend to tell their parents that the teachers are the correct ones over them.
So, if a teacher who is fond of saying cursed words tells his pupil not to say any of these words, then he is likely just deceiving his pupil.
And how about the deception made by few teachers during the NEAT or NSAT? They tried to replace the slow learners with the bright ones from other, to make sure that no one from those who would take the examination would get a rating below the passing grade.
During our time, teachers tried to leak questionnaires for the NCEE and then during the exam, they distributed leaked answers to the students who were taking the exam. They did this to help their students not just to pass the exam but also to get higher rating for the sake of the school’s reputation.
So, cheating was done to deceive the people and the government.
Anyway, NEAT and NSAT, even the NCEE were already abolished by the government in 2001 and 1994, respectively.
There was a time when I noticed that my wife was trying to change the entries on her DTR (Daily Time Record) with the time that was different to what was recorded on the Log Book. When I asked her why she’s doing that, she told me that someone from the district management told her (actually all the volunteers) to do that.
I wonder if those in the management, who instructed their teachers to fabricate the entries on their DTRs, are aware that such act is a way of cheating the government. And telling your subordinates to do such act is like urging them to cheat. And we all know that cheating is a kind of dishonesty.
But that’s not just the case I knew of the cheating happened at school. I also noticed that there are teachers who always arrived late at school, yet in the log book, they arrived on time or before the flag ceremony.
There are also few teachers who were absent in the class due to some personal reasons without filing a Leave of Absence (or without using a credit in service), yet on his DTR, the entries are perfect.
This teacher might reason out by saying: “Okay, it’s true that I am absent a day or two, but the entries on my DTR are perfect. However, I gave that supposed salary, paid to me by the government for those days that I was absent, to the district management for the district’s fund.”
Well, my reply to that is this: “It might be true that you gave the supposed salary, paid by the government to you for those days that you were absent, to the district management. However, you need to understand too, that what you did is a cheat. You are cheating the Republic of the Philippines who paid you for your salary by asking the payment for the days that you are not actually working.”
“But I returned the money to the government by giving it to the district management,” you would argue.
“Haven’t you remembered that you are not following the policies imposed by the government regarding the issue? You haven’t actually returned the money to the Republic of the Philippines that paid you such salary. What you did is gave the money to someone or somewhere and it would be spent in some ways that couldn’t be known by the Republic of the Philippines. And so, it’s still cheating or perhaps, a corruption.
Corruption of public funds doesn’t only happen at the Local Government Unit (LGU), Congress, Senate and other agencies of the government, but it also happens at school.
In the Senate and the Congress, billions of Pesos from the Pork Barrel have been being exploited with. But at school, there is only small amount of fund from MOOE and GPTA being exploited by dirty hands. But whether the amount is just a single Peso or billions of Peso, as long as it is spent in other ways not acceptable based on the policies imposed by the government, then it’s corruption.
What about those officials from the district, division or from the hierarchy in the DepEd who asked for Lechon, gifts, and cash from the newly hired and promoted teachers? Worst are those (DepEd) officials who received gifts or cash from teacher applicants for the favor of hiring them. Is it not a way of involving with the graft and corrupt practices? I think, it’s still corruption based on the Republic Act 6713 otherwise known as the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, and/or the Presidential Decree # 46.
Therefore, in order for the signage: “Honesty is the best policy,” become effective on its purpose, the teachers, staffs, and management of every public school should be honest at all times and in any ways. They are the model being look up by the pupils and the students. And they are the ones being followed by younger ones.