Sunday, June 04, 2006

Don't blame teachers for deteriorating quality of RP education

June 5, 2006

Don't blame teachers for deteriorating quality of RP education

Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran today said that neither Department of Education officials nor anyone else in the Macapagal-Arroyo administration should blame teachers for the deteriorating quality of public school education.

"The country's educational system continues to deteriorate because of the lack of support from the government. Teachers are overworked and underpaid, and there's a severe lack of facilities. From the beginning, teachers and teachers-in-training have had to contend with the most severe limitations imposed by budget restrictions on the one hand; and low salaries and benefits on the other," he said.

Beltran said that it was not fair to make generalities against public school teachers and say it's laziness that's at the core of their poor teaching skills.

"When they were still students themselves, most public school teachers were also subjected to an educational system that's for the most part neglected by the government. Classrooms were packed with too many students; books were expensive; facilities such as computers were essentially non-existent. Parents struggled long and hard to cope with the day-to-day expenses of sending their children to school and to keep them there. It is this cycle of hopelessness that victimizes students and teachers alike, and they cannot be blamed for this," he said.

The veteran labor leader turned legislator said that it will take a comprehensive overhaul of the economic policies and programs of the national government to turn the educational system around.

"The commercial and profit-oriented nature and thrust of the economic programs of the incumbent government, like those of its predecessors have ensured that the country's educational system will never improve. Teachers need all the support they can get, not only in terms of substantially increased salaries and benefits, but also developed infrastructure and technical support. Student, in the meantime, would also benefit from any substantial increase in the wages of their parents, most of whom are workers," he pointed out.

Beltran said that it so long as the political and economic situation in the country continues to worsen, there is little or no hope for it to improve.

"If the Arroyo administration and the DECS were sincere in the goal of improving the educational system, they should start off by giving all public school teachers a P3,000 across-the-board salary increase and the worker-parents of students a P125 legislated across-the-board wage hike. Next, there should be the complete reorientation of the curriculum and school administration away from commercialization and privatization and towards nationalization," he concluded. ###


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