The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) once again expressed its full support for Oplan Balik Eskuwela (OBE) this year. OBE is a DepEd-initiated multi-sectoral program to prepare for the opening of school year.
“As teachers, we are always enthusiastic about the school opening, despite the backlogs in resources, which has been a perennial issue in the education sector.” Said Benjo Basas, the group’s chairperson and a teacher from Baesa High School in Caloocan City.
Last week, the group also called on all its members to actively participate in the Brigada Eskuwela by mobilizing the people and organizations in their respective school communities.
“While we are critical in some of the government’s education policies, especially in its budget, we would never deprive the Filipino youth of their fundamental rights to free education.” Basas added. “As educators, we are in full support to the effort of the Department of Education (DepEd) in achieving the EFA (Education for All) goals.” He continued.
Earlier the group challenged the Aquino administration to seriously consider the resource shortages in public education system before the implementation programs like the 12-year basic education cycle.
“Based on the president’s legislative agenda, the only education proposal he considered urgent is the expansion of our basic education system from 10 to 12 years. This was also mentioned in his first SONA. However, even this particular proposal was not considered in the budget for 2011.” Basas lamented.
The group criticized the government for its failure to allot funding for the universal kindergarten program, which they said is badly needed to improve the quality of education.
“Kindergarten system which is an essential part of the K+12 program will be implemented starting June of this year, but without adequate state subsidy. This is ironic, a flagship program which was never considered in government funding.” He explained.
The TDC also called for a better compensation package for public school teachers.
“We anticipate a good leadership from P-Noy, thus we challenged him to seriously consider teachers’ compensation- both monetary and non-monetary. The salary must be at par with the rest of the world- where teaching is regarded as the most important job and the noblest of all profession. Aside from this, teachers must also be given non-wage incentives like medical care, decent housing, education for their children and tax incentives. If the government wants to resolve the problems of the society, fixing education system would be a good start” Basas ended.
On June 5, 2011, the group will hold a nationally-coordinated activity to symbolize the readiness of teachers in coming school year and to remind the president that the teachers and educators must be prioritized. The highlight of the activity will be a bicycle ride from UP Diliman to Quezon City Circle which they said is inspired by the president recent bike ride in QCMC. #
Benjo Basas, Chairperson 0920-5740241/ 3853437
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