Teachers’ solon scores PNoy for cloaking true state of education

ACT Teachers Party-List Representative Antonio Tinio slammed the President for refusing to reveal in his SONA the true state of education under his K to 12 program.

Tinio maintained that Aquino in particular was mum on the inadequate salaries of workers in the education sector and the growing number of teachers working as highly exploited contractuals.

The progressive solon said that Aquino should have acknowledged the reality that teachers and non-teaching personnel are forced to cope with the increasingly rising cost of living using their meagre salaries.

Tinio then dared Aquino to prove his alleged commitment to education by ensuring the swift passage of House Bill 2142, or the Public School Teachers’ Salary Upgrading Act, and similar bills calling for pay hikes of teachers and other public employees.

Tinio also noted that the SONA was silent on the issue of teacher shortage, which stands at 132,483 based on his estimates.

He said that teachers will be closely monitoring the implementation of the proposal, revealed to the public through Budget Secretary Butch Abad, to give DepEd enough funds to hire 61,500 teachers by June 2013.

“This pledge is a result of our long-standing and broad campaign for government to address the teacher shortage, and this proposal is long overdue,” Tinio said.

“But we are greatly worried that a significant portion of the 61,500 will be contractuals, such as the 20,000 ‘volunteer’ Kinder teachers hired this year.  Secondly, his budgetary commitment still falls way below the sector’s needs.”
Tinio urged to double his investment for teachers, to enable DepEd to hire regular teachers enough for the 132,483-gap.

Tinio assured Aquino of more militant mass actions to come, especially during the budget season, opening today.

“To reiterate their demand for higher education budget, the people will still be massing up in Mendiola.  Ganito po kasimple, Ginoong Presidente: ang Salary Grade 15 o P24,887 kada buwan ay mas malaki sa Salary Grade 11 o P18,549 kada buwan.  Ang 6% ay mas malaki sa 2.74% proposed DepEd-CHED budget niya.

The international standard for optimum public spending for education is set at 6% of the Gross Domestic Product.

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