MANILA, Philippines—It’s supposed to be the month to honor teachers, but some within the ranks do not feel the gratitude.
Several teachers handling kindergarten classes have yet to receive their P3,000 monthly compensation since the school year opened in June, the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition said Friday.
Emmalyn Policarpio, TDC spokesperson, said the group has been receiving text messages from teachers complaining about unpaid compensation since June, when classes opened along with the Department of Education expanded kindergarten program.
“We have been receiving texts from our members in Pangasinan, Metro Manila and Cebu. This is the same thing that happened last year with teachers who taught in summer classes and were paid late,” Policarpio said.
“We are calling on DepEd to expedite the release of the compensation because teachers have been doing their part,” she said.
TDC has yet to come up with an exact count of unpaid teachers but said those unpaid include teachers who served during the summer kinder program and those who started teaching kindergarten classes in June of this year.
Some 1.57 million students enrolled in DepEd’s kindergarten classes, expanded this school year to reach as many 5-year-olds as possible to kickstart government’s K+12 (Kindergarten plus 12 years) program.
K+12, the Aquino administration’s flagship education program, would add two more years to the 10-year basic education cycle to produce employable high school graduates. A key feature of the program is the formal integration of kindergarten, which had long been optional in the public school system.
DepEd pushed through with the expansion this school year even as most public schools lacked classrooms for pre-school. Kinder is deemed a critical first step in education to prepare students for elementary and prevent the incidence of early dropouts.
DepEd meanwhile said funds for kinder teachers’ compensation could be released in October as the department has been rushing the payment processing.
“We wish to assure our kindergarten teachers that we are fast-tracking the processing of the payment of their salaries. We hope to begin receiving June-October payments next month,” said DepEd in a statement.
“We ask the help of our kinder volunteer teachers and the teacher organizations for the immediate submission of actual enrollment data,” said the department.