[Press Release] TDC challenged bets for Teachers’ Agenda

Group challenged bets for Teachers’ Agenda

The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) calls on the candidates for May 2022 elections to consider their comprehensive agenda for the country’s teachers and education workers dubbed as the ‘13-Point Teachers’ Dignity Agenda.’

“We have witnessed several forums and even debates where candidates, especially those gunning for the highest office in the land have presented their plans, unfortunately, we have yet to see a suitable platform that responds to the needs of our teachers and the education sector in general,” said Benjo Basas, the group’s National Chairperson.

Basas said that the 13-Point Teachers’ Dignity Agenda focuses on the rights and welfare of the teachers such as the increase in salaries, compensation for those affected by COVID-19, free post-graduate education, provision of free laptop computers and internet services, and putting up of a separate insurance system and hospital for teachers among other benefits. But there are also demands that address the learning of children like the change in curriculum, reduction of class size, provision of books and other materials and facilities, and adequate funding for the safe return of in-person classes.

“We want to make sure that for this coming election, the issues of the education sector will be put in the center stage together with pandemic response, economic plans, and foreign policy platforms of the candidates both in the executive and the legislature,” Basas added.

Basas said they will invite the bets for discussion of their agenda and will be willing to provide a forum for them to reach the teachers and present their plans, “If the candidates will agree with any or all of our specific demands, we will ask them to sign a document, a sort of memorandum of undertaking so that they will be compelled to make good on their promise, otherwise face a reprisal. Hindi na nila puwedeng sabihing pang-eleksiyon lang yun or joke lang.”

Following is the 13-Point Teachers’ Dignity Agenda package:

Upgrade the teachers’ entry-level salary to at least SG-15 or enactment of the P10,000 across-the-board increase.
Financially assist the teachers and staff who have contracted COVID-19, especially the families of those who died of the disease.
Pay all the government debts to teachers for non-implementation of the provisions of the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers (RA 4670).
Expand the health benefits and creation of a hospital for teachers.
Reduce the class size to at least 25 students per classroom and provide the necessary materials and facilities in schools.
Hire more teachers and staff based on the needs including guidance counselors and non-teaching personnel with proper compensation.
Allow the teachers to focus on teaching by eliminating the ancillary tasks and providing them with free laptops and internet connectivity.
Restore and strengthen the comprehensive study of Philippine History, Literature, and Culture at all levels of the curriculum and intensify peace, human rights indigenous people’s education.
Amend the GSIS law to expand the benefits for members or put up a separate insurance system for public education personnel.
Guarantee the representation of rank-and-file employees in all policy-making bodies in the education sector.
Adopt a fair and just merit and promotion system in government service.
Enact a Magna Carta for Private School Teachers to ensure their rights and welfare
Provide the necessary funding to ensure a safe return to school under the new normal.

Each item, according to Basas has a detailed explanation and rationale that could help the candidates grasp the issues.

“We are willing to sit in exploratory talks with them should they wish to,” Basas ended. #

Benjo Basas, National Chairperson

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