Composed of various proposals for the welfare of teachers as well as the quality of learning for children and the general reforms in the sector of education, a teachers’ group urged the new administration to consider its 13-point agenda for education.
The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) expressed hope that the Marcos administration would take a closer look at these proposals which would require both executive and legislative actions.
TDC, through its 13-point Teachers’ Dignity Agenda, pushes for the following:
1. Upgrade the entry-level salaries of public school teachers to at least salary grade 15 by amending the existing salary laws or enact the long-demanded P10, 000 across-the-board increase;
2. Financially assist teachers and staff who have contracted Covid-19 since March 2020 --- especially the families of those who died of the disease;
3. Pay all government debts to teachers resulting from the non or limited implementation of the welfare provisions of the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers (RA 4670) such as the free medical check-up and hospitalization, compensation for injuries, overtime pay, paid study leave, special hardship allowance and step increment, among other benefits;
4. Ensure and expand the health benefits to teachers as mandated by existing laws and build a hospital for teachers and education sector workers;
5. Lower the class size to at least 25 students per classroom, ensure the 1:1 textbook to student ratio and the needed facilities in every classroom and provide all the schools with water, sanitation, and disinfection facilities;
6. Hire more teachers based on the needs, including those who will teach specialized subjects such as Special Education (SPED), kindergarten, and senior high school, and provide each school with a registered guidance counselor with attractive remuneration based on qualifications. Hire additional support staff/non-teaching personnel who will perform the clerical tasks in schools;
7. Ascertain that teachers focus on teaching, free them from ancillary tasks that reduce the quality of their service. Provide free laptops and internet connectivity to all teachers;
8. Restore and further strengthen the comprehensive study of Philippine History, Literature, and Culture at all levels and intensify the program for Peace and Human Rights Education as well as the Indigenous People’s Education in IP communities; 9. Amend the GSIS law and make a representation of classroom teachers integral to the GSIS Board, abolish unfair GSIS policies and further expand member benefits like the lowering of retirement age or altogether create a separate insurance system for teachers and staff of the public education sector;
10. Create a robust mechanism for full representation of rank-and-file employees in all policy-making bodies of DepEd including the Management Committee in the Central Office as well as in Boards and Committees related to teachers and the education sector;
11. Establish an honest-to-goodness, fair, and just merit and promotion system in government service, especially in DepEd that would include providing free post-graduate studies. Prioritize the seasoned teachers who serve in remote areas in promotions. Replace the complex and cumbersome Results-Based Performance Management System (RPMS) and restore the simple Performance Appraisal System for Teachers (PAST);
12. Ensure the security of tenure of teachers and staff, eliminate all forms of contractualization in private and public schools and government agencies and guarantee the right to self-organization, the right to collective bargaining/negotiation, and the right to peaceful concerted activities/right to strike of teachers and staff both in private and public schools. Establish a separate Magna Carta for Private School Teachers; and
13. Create policies and flesh out mechanisms for community participation and provide the necessary funding to ensure a safe return to school under the “new normal."