A teacher plays a significant role in a child’s life. They become a second parent, building not just knowledge but also character and ambition. And for teachers, it is a selfless job where their students’ victory is their victory. This is the reasoning behind Sen. Sonny Angara’s new bill, which is pushing to increase public school teachers’ salary from P19,077 a month to P36,407 a month.
He posted an infographic on Facebook in time for National Teachers Month, saying, “Kung tingin ninyo kailangan taasan ang sahod ng mga guro – paki-repost ito. Kung tingin ninyo hindi kailangan…….. BAKIT?! BAKITTTTTTTT?!” (“If you think we need to increase the salaries of teachers, please repost this. If you don’t think we need to…. WHY? WHYYYYYY?”)
The proposed increase is under Senate Bill 135 in the 17th Congress, called “An Act Upgrading the Minimum Salary Grade Level of Teachers From Salary Grade 11 to 19.” The bill states:
Public school teachers are among the most underpaid workers, given their workload and role in the society. Despite the fact that they are heralded as molders of our children’s future and second parents to our children, public school teachers receive a basic salary that does not equate to their contribution. Our teachers are considered to be the heart of the educational system. Hence, the government needs to give priority to their welfare and interests.
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. More so, our public schools have failed to attract the best and the brightest graduates from the top colleges and universities because of low salary levels, preventing our public education system from benefiting from the knowledge and expertise of outstanding teachers. Especially with the recent implementation of the K-12 law, having inspired and capable teachers is probably one of the best investments our government could make.
In this regard, this bill seeks to raise the minimum salary grade level of teachers from the current Salary Grade 11 to 19. With this increase in salaries, more qualified and competent educators will be attracted to teach in public schools. Definitely, this will greatly help in motivating our teachers to strive for excellence in their field and thus, improve the quality of education in the public school system.
As of September 1, 2016, the bill is pending in the committee.
If passed, this would benefit at least 377,831 teachers teaching in at least 38,659 public schools (as of 2012-2013, in a study by the Department of Education’s Research and Statistics Division in the Office of Planning Service).
Angara has been pushing for education reform for many years now. Last year, he said, “I think every teacher realizes deep in their heart that they are not doing this for personal glory or for personal riches but definitely, to leave a legacy.”
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