June 5, 2010
Reference : Arlene James S. Pagaduan
President – 09272810726
A New School Year Means Another Year of Bearing With
Shortcomings of the Education Budget
By June 15, the Education Department expects 23.4 Billion students to troop to school. And so will 567,000 public school teachers across the country welcome our dear students to a new school year and to the same old problems brought on by the lack of budget for education.
Again, teachers will assume numerous roles above and beyond teaching their pupils such as all-around handyman repairing the facilities during Brigada Eskwela, janitor and property custodian, security guard, fee collector and even vendor to name a few.
In short, we bend backwards trying to make do with what little budget we have to give the gift of knowledge to our students. But this cannot change the fact that:
· The government may have ‘saved’ 9.3 Billion from Brigada Eskwela but shortage of adequate school facilities such as classrooms, chairs and tables remain.
· Also, by declaring that no student will be turned away, we expect our present 70-80 student classrooms to get even bigger.
· Books and education materials are sorely lacking especially in so-called priority subjects like Math and Science.
· And despite Ondoy and Pepeng, the Education Department has yet to institutionalize disaster-preparedness or even stress-debriefing among public school teachers and pupils who were traumatized by the flooding.
The only solution is to earmark more money for education.
More money for education would mean more teachers could be hired, more classrooms could be built; more chairs, tables and books could be purchased along with upgrading arcane equipment.
More money for education can also address the issue of giving much-needed pay increases instituted by the Salary Standardization Law 3 which promises a Php 6,500.00 increase in teachers’ wages given in four tranches. Since last year, teachers have received only two thousand and little else.
We appeal to the incoming administration to lend an ear to our plight and put a premium in funding education for the country’s future. ####