Wanted: Younger public school teachers | Inquirer News

Wanted: Younger public school teachers

/ 04:29 AM June 22, 2014

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A party-list lawmaker is all for compelling public school teachers to retire five years earlier as he argues that this would make way for a younger and more energetic teaching workforce and allow the retirees more time to ostensibly enjoy the fruits of their labor and pursue other interests.

Party-list House member Silvestre Bello III (1-BAP) has filed a bill to fix the compulsory retirement age of public school teachers at 60, from the current 65, and the optional retirement age at 55, from the current 60.

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Bello claimed the measure would benefit both the young graduates who want to teach in the public schools and the senior teachers who would be retiring.

He noted that 15 percent of elementary school teachers in the country, or about 62,000, are more than 60 years old.

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According to Bello, older teachers may find it difficult to deal with the taxing demands of the job, especially with the problems besetting public education at present.

“With longer working hours and larger class sizes than our neighbor countries, these older teachers are unlikely to have the time, energy and opportunity to have other pursuits or equip themselves with higher skills to be abreast with modern teaching methods and technology, or at least to prepare for alternative livelihoods to cross over to when they retire,” he said in the explanatory note to his bill.

He said there was a pool of young graduates who could join the workforce when the more senior public school teachers retire earlier.

Every year, there are some 14,000 newly licensed teachers, he noted. But with senior teachers still holding many teaching posts, a lot of these new graduates have to turn to other jobs, thus depriving the public schools of their youthful energy and new teaching methods, he said.

But if his bill is approved, Bello said, more slots would be freed up to make way for the young teaching graduates who would have greater energy and the mental agility to deal with large classes.

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TAGS: Education, public school, retirement, Silvestre Bello III
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