Higher pay will help address shortage of public school teachers

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/05 Oct) – A higher pay for public school teachers will help address the problem of shortage of educators in public elementary and high schools, Schools Superintendent Helen Paguican said.

“Teachers would be more attracted to teach in public schools” rather than in private schools, she said.

But Paguican said the migration of teachers from private schools would depend on the availability of teacher items in each of the school divisions.

The city has around 7,000 public school teachers in elementary and high school, Paguican said, adding that the average teacher student-teacher ratio is 1:50 where the ideal ratio is 1:40 or 1:45.

She added that the ratio should be seen beyond the figures.”Remember that some of the teachers teach multilevel students,” she said, referring to multiple grade levels in one classroom.

She said the implementation of the K to 12 also imposed a demand for more teachers, especially those who qualified in teaching NC2 subjects such as welding and beauty care.

In a statement, Alliance for Concerned Teachers secretary general France Castro said the Senate has begun committee hearings on bills increasing teachers’ salaries.

Senators Juan Edgardo Angara, Antonio Trillanes, Serge Osmena, Grace Poe, Loren Legarda and Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. have pending bills, Castro said, adding “this only manifests that there is really a need for a salary increase for teachers and employees.”

Castro said the pay increase teachers received during the term of former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo amounted to nothing due to high inflation and cost of living.

She said teachers have had to rely on government loans and loan sharks to make ends meet and fill a “living salary gap.

“If the government really considers us as the new heroes, increasing our salaries would be the best act to manifest such consideration,” she said.

Castro said teachers nationwide could go on a mass leave if the demand for wage increase is not met.

“We are already restive and restless. We are only asking for what is due to us. Again, we are already tired and we will go on with this war. We are teachers and not carabaos!”

Paguican said she was supportive of any increase in salaries.

“That way, teachers will be living the standard of life with dignity that is worthy of their roles as teachers,” she said. (MindaNews)