Celebrating Filipino Culture and Heritage in Hawaii Schools

The Department of Education (DOE) in Hawaii has taken a major step towards recognizing and celebrating Filipino culture and heritage in the state. With the student-driven project to bring Filipino content into the curriculum gaining traction, the DOE plans to incorporate 200 teachers from the Philippines for the 2024-2025 school year. This international recruitment initiative was decided upon because Filipino students are the most numerous in their schools, accounting for 30% of the total student body. Having taught at a Catholic university in Manila for three years in the mid-1980s, I can attest to the English proficiency of college-educated Filipinos. It's very encouraging and gave me a lot of confidence to be proud of my heritage and to believe in myself as a Filipina and as a person. The DOE's initiative is an important step towards recognizing and celebrating Filipino culture and heritage in Hawaii.

It is also an opportunity for Filipinos to take an interest in underemployed teachers who now work at the DOE. With this project, we can honor the rich history and diverse cultures of Filipinos in the Philippines and in many diaspora communities around the world. Groups like the Philippine Association of University Women are organizing to help teachers with the household items they need in their new home. This makes it even more important for organizations like this to provide assistance and resources for these teachers, as they don't have the same support system as Filipino nurses who rely on their peers to prepare for licensure exams. The DOE's project is not only about publicizing the beauty of Filipino history in Hawaii, but also throughout the country. It is a great opportunity for Filipino students to learn more about their culture and heritage, as well as for underemployed teachers to gain employment.

With this initiative, we can ensure that Filipino culture is celebrated and respected in Hawaii schools.