Davao City – Members of a teachers union here welcomed the recent pronouncement of a Department of Education official in support of salary increase for public school teachers.
ACT Davao Region Union said that they are happy with the statement made by Davao City Schools Division Superintendent Helen Paguican as it will “encourage other teachers to become more active in popularizing (the) campaign.”
Paguican had said she believes that a higher pay for public school teachers will address the shortage of educators especially with the demands set by the implementation of K-12 program.
In an emailed statement, Pilar Barredo, union secretary, said “we are also happy that the Division Superintendent has validated the fact that there is a shortage of teachers. It is because of this that teachers are forced to handle multi-grade classes, or have teacher-student ratios of 1:50, which are not compliant with international standards.”
The ideal ratio of teacher-student is 1:40 or 1:45.
“Handling so many children in elementary or teenagers in high school is very stressful and expensive for teachers. Imagine disciplining your own children and multiply that by 50, that’s a lot of stress,” union president Elenito Escalante, said.
“It is also expensive because we have to spend for the reproduction of learning materials because the government does not provide for all of these. The government has to increase the budget for DepED to upgrade teachers’ salaries and to provide all the necessary materials for us to do our jobs well,” he added.
Malacanang has recently announced that public school teachers might have to wait for pay hike because of budgetary constraints.
In news reports, Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr said that the “government must first consider where the budget for the pay hikes would be sourced from in as much as they do not have the fund for the same at the moment.”
Coloma added that Congress “have a rule that they will not pass a law until the source of funding is clear.”
Department of Budget and Management Secretary Florencio Abad also announced last August that the Aquino administration is not planning on implementing wage hike for government employees including public school teachers.
“There will be a study on the necessity of wage increase for government employees this year. Should the study see a need for a wage increase, I’ll recommend its implementation to the President by 2016,” he said.(davaotoday.com)