CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan -- For about 45 minutes on Friday, Senator Joel Villanueva played teacher and taught lessons in Social Studies to Grade 4 students at the City of Malolos Integrated School in Barangay Atlag here.

Villanueva was the special guest mentor of the Teach for the Philippines, a non-government organization that aims to provide Filipino children with access to relevant and excellent quality education.

The senator taught the pupils on topics such as “Ang Mga Namumuno sa Bansa” and explained the different roles of leaders in the country.

“Our children are not only the hope of our country, they are the future of the Philippines and it is a great privilege to teach the future leaders of our Republic,” Villanueva said.

"Education is now given top priority by the government," he noted.

“The emergence of artificial intelligence and robots could spell doom in the future if we will not cultivate quality teachings to our children. Papalitan tayo ng mga robot (We will be replaced by robots). We must also not let our human resources be downgraded. Look at our professionals—doctors working as nurses, nurses working as care givers. This should not be so,” the senator from Bulacan province said.

“Wherever place we want to bring our country, we should improve the system of education in our country. Education is the most important aspect of governance,” he stressed.

He thanked organizers of the teach-in program, saying “Teach for the Philippines, leave your mark.” 

Villanueva said he decided to join the group's activity under its "Teach for the Philippines Week" not only to have an actual teaching experience but also to show his respect and support to all Filipino teachers who work hard to educate the children.

“Teaching may be a thankless job, but its impact is both immediate and far-reaching. I believe that the greatest and noblest act of self-sacrifice that anyone can take on is becoming a teacher,” he said.

According to the senator, education is the hope of the nation that could lead it to progress.

Angel Ramos, PR and Communication manager of Teach for the Philippines, said the group enlists some of the country’s most promising young leaders to teach for two years in public schools throughout the Philippines.

She said that to date, there are 95 “Teacher Fellows” in 39 schools in 17 local governments across Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, who, together with their school communities, are working towards the goal of education equity.

The organization has been running the program for the past four years and among the guest teachers have been Senators Bam Aquino and Sonny Angara, National Book Development Board Chairperson Neri Sta. Romana-Cruz, Miss Universe 2010 fourth runner-up Venus Raj and TV talk show host Boy Abunda. (PNA)