Press Release
June 18, 2010


Senator Edgardo J. Angara renews his call to begin with raising teachers' wages and benefits in pursuing education reform.

"Of all government employees, the teachers have lagged behind in salaries, incentives and training by judges, fiscals, firemen and employees of government financial institutions. Any major education reform should start with ensuring the welfare of educators," said Angara, who has been a staunch advocate of education reforms.

He added, "The low salaries received by our public school teachers have been a major disincentive for them to improve their skills in teaching and pursue further education and training. If we aspire to improve the quality of education in our country, we must motivate our teachers, re-train and reward them for their efforts."

In the Senate, Angara authored a bill seeking to upgrade the minimum salary grade level of public school teachers from grade 10 to 19. However, the increase will depend on the qualifications as well as the length of service rendered.

"In effect, this will spell a P6, 000 increase from the basic salary of public school teachers," said Angara.

By providing attractive incentives Angara believes that the exodus of public school teachers, which drains the educational system, would be sufficiently addressed.

"One cannot blame our teachers for wanting to work abroad for substantially higher wages. Hopefully, this salary upgrade will attract qualified and competent teachers to teach in public schools, especially those who are hesitant to leave their families for overseas work," he said.

Apart from addressing the outflow of teachers, Angara also believes that drastic measures have to be made to train remaining teachers.

"Teachers have the biggest impact on student learning. Educational reform must focus on the way teachers are trained, recruited and deployed, and should improve the incentive structures that encourage new graduates into the profession, teacher development is the best investment our government can make in reviving our basic education system."

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