PH needs 147,000 new teachers, hiring 10,000 not enough — ACT
MANILA, Philippines — Hiring 10,000 teachers alone will not be enough to alleviate the teacher shortage, the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) said in a statement on Tuesday.
“We need to hire 147,000 new teachers to be able to lower the class size to 35,” Dana Beltran, ACT deputy secretary general, said. “Its cost of P54 billion is a worthy investment for our youth’s and nation’s future. It is perfectly doable only if the national government would straighten up its priorities and rid the 2023 proposed budget of hefty allocations to questionable agency-hosted pork barrel funds, dubious confidential and intelligence funds, and onerous debt payments.”
Beltran was reacting to the announcement of the Department of Education (DepEd) spokesperson, Michael Poa, in the first week of September that the agency was looking into hiring 10,000 teachers.
“Hiring 10,000 new teachers can only accommodate these new learners, and at a large class size of 55 students at that. The figures could be worse as yearly, many teachers exit the service to retire or seek better-paying jobs. Now, how can 10,000 new teaching positions be of any help in alleviating the teacher shortage?” Beltran said.
“There is nothing new in creating 10,000 new teaching positions as it has been the baseline yearly allocation of the national government for several years already. This is in no way a plan to reduce the current class size or ease teachers’ workload to enable education recovery or improve the quality of education,” she added.
“We simply cannot do it if our teachers handle six, seven, eight, or more classes of 50 students each,” Beltran urged.
Beltran renewed ACT’s appeal to the government to double DepEd’s budget for 2023.
“While it is long overdue for the government to adhere to the United Nation’s recommendation of allocating an education budget equivalent to 6% of the country’s gross domestic product, now is the best time to finally do it if we aim to salvage our education system from the crisis. We need to double this year’s education budget to really solve the perennial problems in education that drowns us in the quagmire that we are in,” Beltran said.
—KRISTELLE RAZON (INQUIRER.net TRAINEE)