Gov’t should invest on teachers, Senate bets urge

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Filipino teachers under training. Some 785,000 teachers and other employees of the Department of Education can again enjoy their benefits from the Government Service Insurance System as Malacañang has started settling their unpaid premiums covering three and a half years. FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — The government needs to invest more in teachers in order improve the quality of education, senatorial candidates Richard Gordon and Alan Cayetano said during a Senate Forum by the Philippine Daily Inquirer Wednesday.

“The secret in education is our teachers. If you do not pay the teachers well you do not get [improved quality],” Gordon said in response to a question regarding the state of education in the country.

He said that teachers in the Philippines have the lowest salary compared to other neighboring southeast Asian countries.

“They are overworked and underpaid,” Gordon said. “Its a question of commitment, if we do not pay the teachers well [the quality of education] will not imporve.”

Senator Alan Peter Cayetano who next answered the same issue, said that education should be an investment the the government should fully go into.

“Education is an investment. The number one asset the Lord has given the Filipino… is the people,” Cayetano said.

“The more you invest in people the more it will return to the community and the people,” he said.

He cited several education projects in his hometown of Taguig where the students get their uniforms, books for free as well as other incentives for them such as scholarships and grants.

“The better educated [people are] the better jobs [they] will get,” Cayetano said.

When Gordon was asked about the current issue of local governments putting up too many state universities and colleges (SUCs), he said it should be “quality not quantity.”

Gordon said he was in favor of rationalizing all the SUCs so that it could be focused to improve the quality of education in each region.

For more on the ongoing forum, log on to http://www.inquirer.net/philippine-election-2013, on http://live.inquirer.net/?p=36; and on Facebook and Twitter.

Inquirer will hold two other fora on April 18 in Baguio and on April 26 in Cebu.

Inquirer is a member of the Inquirer Group of Companies, to which INQUIRER.net also belongs.

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