Press Release
May 20, 2010


With less than a month before the new school year opens, Sen. Edgardo J. Angara today called on all public agencies and the private sector to aid the government in addressing the lack of qualified teachers in the country. Angara also warned that this shortage of teachers, attributed to poor compensation, deters providing quality education in public schools.

"In failing to provide attractive compensation, the government is unable to recruit qualified, competent teachers or to keep those already employed. This degrades the quality of public education," said Angara, former president of the University of the Philippines.

Angara cited schools in rural communities wherein two teachers serve all levels in elementary--one for Grades 1-3 and the other for Grades 3-6.

He added, "In public schools, we see unqualified teachers repeat formulas and equations from textbooks to disinterested students. This lack of credentials in many public schools leads to a declining quality of education in our schools, and as a consequence, the waning competitiveness of our students."

In response, he has called for a raise in the salary grade of teachers to SG13, which will increase the salary of teachers to Php21,293 - up by 77% from the current salary level--to foster competitiveness in the country's educational system.

He also proposed to amend the Magna Carta of Public School Teachers and provide [teachers] additional benefits through scholarship grants and free medical treatments for their dependents. It also encourages teachers to form cooperatives in their own municipalities to help promote their economic welfare.

"Studies have shown that the prime reason for the shortage of teachers in the country is the lack of compensation and benefits, driving them to seek employment abroad. Filipino teachers who migrate abroad receive ten times the salary they get in the country. This should be a wake-up call to us in the government and our partners in the private sector and various education agencies," Angara concluded.

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