Wednesday, May 25, 2005

NR0526:Deteriorating public school education

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
News Release May 26, 2005
House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602
931-6615 Ina Alleco R. Silverio,Chief of Staff
Email: paggawa@edsamail.com.ph, anakpawis2003@yahoo.com
Cellphone number 09213907362
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Deteriorating quality of public school education reflection of low quality of life of the country's educators; P3,000 salary increase for government employees and teachers needed

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today said that the admission of the Department of Education (DepEd) yesterday that the salary of 10,000 new public school teachers has not yet been approved all the more exposes the twisted priorities of the Macapagal-Arroyo administration.

"Taxpayers' money should be going towards improving crucial and basic social services such as health and education, and that includes the salaries and benefits of teachers and instructors in the public school system," he said. "What kind of education will the Filipino youth be getting when their own teachers are not well paid and constantly pro-occupied with economic woes? For all their strong commitment to the teaching profession, our educators will not be able to perform their duties to the best of their abilities because they're constantly plagued by problems of low salaries."

Beltran said that it is only this coming July that the Senate and Congress deliberate on the new 2006 national budget appropriations. "Teachers, as the case with other government employees, have been demanding a much needed salary increase of at least P3,000 for the last five years. The work loads of teachers, specifically, continue to increase in direct proportion to the increase in the number of incoming students. The support systems in the public schools are very weak - as public schools lack facilities and supplies. Many teachers are forced to buy supplies such as chalk, cartolina, writing paper and the like using their funds. They're also forced to ask their students to bring floor wax, floor rags, brooms and other cleaning supplies because the school's own stock of these are often not enough," he said.

He also said that more and more teachers are also 'side-lining' as vendors of longganisa, hotdogs, and other perishable goods, and they sell them to their students. "The low salaries of teachers are simply not enough. The deteriorating quality of public school education in the country is a also a reflection and result of the deterioratring quality of life of our educators,' he said.

The veteran labor leader said that the upcoming school opening will no doubt present many problems, the least of which are the shortage of school teachers, classrooms and textbooks. "President Arroyo is exhorting parents to stick to Divisoria and other public markets when buying school supplies; but the bigger issue is this- do parents have enough funds to buy all the school needs of their children," he said.

Beltran said that he has already filed HB 1064, or a bill legislating a P3,000 across-the-board salary increase for all government employees nationwide. He asked his colleagues in the Lower House to support the said measure and help give urgent economic relief to the over 1.4 government employees in the country.#

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