/ 28 July 2022

THE ALLIANCE of Concerned Teachers scored the Department of Education’s old excuse that private schools might close down if teachers’ salaries in the public sector will be raised.

The group said that 80 percent of basic education schools in the Philippines are public schools and there are almost 1 million public school teachers deprived of their right to livable salaries.

“The stark fact is that teachers’ salaries have been long left behind by their counterpart professionals in the public sector when President Duterte doubled the salaries of police and uniformed personnel in 2018, and public sector nurses were granted salary grade 15 entry-level salaries by the Supreme Court in 2019,” ACT said in a statement.

“Nurses in private hospitals receive considerably lower salaries compared to those in public hospitals now but this has not deterred the just upgrading of public hospital nurses’ salaries. This, despite the fact that private hospital nurses outnumber those in the public hospitals,” it added.

The group said that the low salaries of teachers in private schools do not justify the low salaries for public school teachers.

“Being the teachers’ number one employer in the country, the government should set the decent standards for teachers’ salaries. Consequently, it should help private schools in giving their teachers salaries that are at par with the public sector,” it said.

Meanwhile, the group welcomed the DepEd’s plan to hire education support personnel in schools.

“Each school should have their own nurse, registrar, custodian, clerks, librarian, security guards and utility workers. In the absence of these, teachers were forced to take on these functions that has considerably taken a lot of their time and effort from teaching,” it said.

“No amount of refresher course can improve the quality of teaching until teachers are freed from non-teaching duties and liberated from the need to take odd jobs just to make ends meet,” the group added.