Solons propose incentives to attract math, science teachers

LAWMAKERS are proposing incentives to enjoin students in mathematics and science to pursue a career in teaching for national development progress.

Rep. Diosdado Macapagal Arroyo (2nd District, Camarines Sur) said there is a need to create and maintain an adequate pool of highly qualified, motivated and globally competitive teachers to enable and strengthen the Philippines in its aim to be at par with the rest of the world.

“To be major players in the global arena, it is of paramount importance to have exceptionally and highly educated students. But without the contribution of our teachers in the molding of the youth, it will be close to impossible to create such an ideal studentry,” Arroyo said.

Arroyo and his mother, Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (2nd District, Pampanga) filed House Bill 6494 which seeks to develop globally competitive science and mathematics teachers and advance their specialization, sustain interest in this field and encourage them to stay in science and mathematics teaching.

Under the bill, incentives are provided to continually upgrade the competence of those who are already in such fields of teaching as priority in government grants, allowances, study visits, placement, publications and research support, wherever appropriate, to teachers and students who enroll in science or mathematics teaching courses.

Another incentive is waivers from the Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC) to allow new graduates to teach between graduation and taking the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET).

The measure also grants teachers a higher starting pay than their basic salary; giving rewards to top scorers in the LET as well as giving merit promotions through examinations.

To further encourage non-science and non-mathematics majors, the bill provides for promotions for those who have completed a certification program in science content.

The Arroyos proposed the creation of a Science and Mathematics Teachers Development Fund to finance programs for the continuing improvement of teachers’ skills.

“The passage of this bill will ensure that teaching in the fields of science and mathematics become as competitive as other professions as well as the availability of competent teachers to educate Filipinos for global excellence,” the younger Arroyo said.

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