Fulfill objectives of education, future teachers told

Published September 30, 2019, 7:26 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera & Richa Noriega

By Merlina Hernando-Malipot

Despite the daunting tasks that await them, a federation of teachers challenged their future colleagues to “fulfill the objectives of education” once they start or continue with their teaching careers – especially in public schools.

Alliance of Concerned Teachers (MANILA BULLETIN)
Alliance of Concerned Teachers (MANILA BULLETIN)

“Our duty as educators is not only to produce a literate and skilled labor force, but more importantly, a citizenry who deeply values the principles that shape our humanity and Filipino identity, but are challenged today – human rights, democracy, peace based on justice, sovereignty, and service to the people,” said National Capital Region (NCR) Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Union president Vlademir Quetua.

During the recent Board Licensure Exam for Professional Teachers (BLEPT), teacher-members of the ACT handed pencils with messages of encouragement to the test takers at Ramon Magsaysay High School in Manila.

More than 200,000 examinees were expected to have taken the LET in identified testing centers nationwide. Passing the BLEPT is a requirement for education graduates to be eligible to teach in public schools.  “We commend our future public school teachers who, despite knowing the sacrifices that come with the vocation, choose a life of service to the youth and the nation,” Quetua said.

“The big number of examinees inspires us, current teachers,” said Queta. “This only goes to prove that we are not here for the money, as teaching in our country is far from being financially-rewarding in the first place, but out of our great love and concern for the youth and the nation,” he added.

Meanwhile, Quetua cited the wanting government support to teachers and the education sector as the “most difficult challenges” that public school teachers face at present. “Teachers are one of the lowest-paid professionals in the country and the already difficult duty of educating our youth is compounded by the sorely insufficient government subsidy to education, which renders teachers as one of the most overworked employees as well,” he said.

ACT noted that entry-level teachers receive a “measly monthly salary” of P20,754. “While the amount does not meet the P26,104 minimum requirement for the daily survival of a family of five based on the computations of Ibon Foundation, teachers still have to take out from their pockets the cost of teaching materials and equipment, and sometimes, even the needs of their students,” the teachers’ federation said.

As the country gears up for the celebration of the 2019 World Teachers’ Day (WTD) on October 5, ACT expressed hope that the “government would finally realize that teaching is one profession that is naturally service-oriented.” This, the group added, “would better put our call for a substantial salary increase in the proper context.”

“Teaching is a vocation and the least the government can do is to dignify our sacrifices with decent salaries and take care of our families,” Quetua said. The ACT has been demanding for increasing the entry-level salaries of public school teachers to P30,000.