Every year, on Teachers’ Day, we honor the efforts of our teachers who mold the future by shaping the hearts and minds of countless youth around the world. Here in the Philippines, we often describe teachers as our second parents from whom we learn the ways of the world and how we can possibly change things for the better.

But this year, as our lives shifted in the face of a global pandemic, our teachers have taken on the difficult challenge of adopting new approaches to learning while making sure that the youth continues to strive for excellence as they imagine and create a better future for everyone.  Students, especially those who are especially vulnerable to Covid-19, have been forced to stay inside their homes, away from their friends and classmates. Teachers, on the other hand, have been bringing education closer to students by knocking on their doors to distribute distance-learning modules to guide their learning, or by reaching out through a computer screen after struggling to find an internet connection that is stable enough for online teaching.

Our teachers are working hard to keep communities together as they continue to make learning possible for students, while also supporting those who may feel alone and isolated in this time of difficult but necessary social distancing. They have been bridging distances both physical and virtual to ensure students’ continued access to knowledge, despite the barriers and risks that come with these unprecedented times.

The Bangsamoro Regional Government has actively taken part in ensuring the safety of our students while securing their right to quality education. As classes resumed throughout the region, it has been closely working with communities and partner organizations to ensure schools’ compliance with the guidelines set by the Bangsamoro Government’s Inter-Agency Task Force on Covid-19.

Now, more than ever, we honor our teachers who have become an essential part of our fight against the ongoing pandemic. Together with our government and health workers, they are leading the efforts towards building a “new normal” where our youth can continue to pursue their dreams through quality education, as we continue the fight for a Covid-free country. We thank them for helping us navigate our way towards a better world, as they carry the light of learning and knowledge that continues to guide us all.