BONTOC, Mountain Province – Teaching Cookery under Technology and Livelihood Education “TLE” is full of ups and downs. Sometimes parents complain because of the requirements needed in the subject without knowing what sacrifices teachers make.
They give suggestions that the students prepare and cook what is available in the community such as “pising” or taro and “sabunganay” or banana blossom. Although the Department of Education is instilling Indigenous Peoples Education (IPED) in the curriculum, it does necessarily have to be indigenous foods that are prepared in cookery. In this subject, the students are trained to be globally competitive so that they will be at par with other students in the country in the field of cooking. Once the student meets the required lessons and competencies in cookery, she/he can apply as cook/chef in restaurants. Before a student is rated as competent, he/she should pass the assessment of the Technical Education Skills and Development Authority.
Developing competencies of students is challenging for both teacher and students. Teachers have to remedy unavailable cooking tools especially if students do not bring the required ones, like bringing their own personal things so that the lesson will progress. As they say “we can never teach what we don’t have”. We consider the school as is the extension of our home so we bring what we can from our homes to the school to help attain the objectives of our lessons.
We also help students who cannot afford to bring needed ingredients. As they say, “kaut-bulsa”. The teacher has to sacrifice again in order to attain the objectives of the lesson and to be able to maintain the progress of learning. In cooking, there can be no product if the ingredients are not complete, thus the teacher has to make sure everything is complete before proceeding with the lesson even if he/she has to take out the expenses from her pocket. The teacher becomes a walking store in order to ensure that the students do not fail. This is the sacrifice that parents do not see even as they sometimes blame teachers for the failure of students who cannot bring the needed ingredients to school. However, there are alternatives to this like asking the help of other teachers to buy the required ingredients and let them take the cooked product, especially if there are more than one student who cannot afford to produce the ingredients.
In cooking, practice makes perfect. This poses a challenge then for poor students who cannot have more practice because of lack of money to buy ingredients, But it does not mean that performing is a guarantee that a student will pass but it warrants that a student learns by doing.
However, teaching cookery is fun because one has to be creative and innovative to make sure that the food is nutritious and at the same time pleasing to the eyes.
In addition, it is pleasing if the students gain new insights and more rewarding if the students achieve their national certificate issued by the TESDA.
In TESDA program, Cookery belongs to the tourism sector and it consists of thirteen core competencies that a student must achieve.
Taking up cookery under TLE is not only to finish the subject required by the Department of Education but it is also helps students appreciate cooking, and once appreciated they will learn and become competent using and applying the skills they have learned for survival in the near future. It is an avenue for the students to acquire knowledge and skills that they will soon apply in their lives.
So, parents let us support our children by providing their needs and remember that the teacher is not a free store.
By: HAZEL NOEL M. BALOKEY