Ms. France Castro
Mr. Benjie Valbuena
TEACHERS WORRY ABOUT THE READINESS OF DEPED TO IMPLEMENT UNIVERSAL KINDERGARTEN
Universal kindergarten will be implemented starting school year 2011 to 2012 as part of the Department of Education’s response to the Education for All plan. “The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) hails this move but we are apprehensive if DepEd is ready for this,” Mr. Benjie Valbuena, the Vice-President of ACT said.
Ms. France Castro, the Secretary General of ACT Philippines, “We have shortages in facilities and classrooms at present, what more if we implement this new program? Definitely, additional students will mean the need for additional school buildings, instructional materials and additional teachers. How will the government accommodate these additional enrollees without sacrificing the quality of education?”
“About 30,000 teachers will be hired to serve the targeted 2.5 million students. They are supposed to teach 6 hours per day (just like regular teachers) – 3 hours in the morning and 3 hours in the afternoon. Each class will be composed of 25 students. Each of these teachers will receive an honorarium of P6,000 per month (way below the minimum wage). We propose regular employment and just compensation (within the Salary Standardization scheme) for these teachers. This would mean that DepEd will be the sole biggest employer of contractuals. At present, the nationaly-paid kindergarten teachers are already paid an honorarium of P6,000 per month but this is delayed up to six months. They will take on the great responsibility of molding the minds of kids who will be undergoing transition from home to the commencement of formal schooling. It is justified therefore that these co-teachers receive the right pay and have job security,” Ms. Castro continued.
Finally, Mr. Benjie Valbuena told, “Funds can be realigned from the Public-Private Partnership Funds, the Conditional Cash Transfers and Foreign Debt Payments through new legislation for this purpose. Granting our pre-school teachers with what is rightfully due them and provision of appropriate facilities for this program will allow conditions for quality education
Source: ACT Partylist / QCPSTA