House bill seeks to give scholarships to public school teachers
MANILA, Philippines – A bill seeking to provide post-graduate scholarships to public school teachers has been filed in the House of Representatives.
Filed by Quezon City 4th District Representative Angelina Tan, House Bill 121 aims to help teachers access higher education “to become more competitive and better members of the academic community.”
Under the proposed bill, all public school teachers who have been in active duty for at least two years prior to application shall be eligible to avail of scholarship grants in all state universities in the Philippines.
Aside from individuals engaged in classroom teaching in any level of instruction, the bill also includes other people “performing supervisory and/or administrative functions in all schools, colleges, and universities operated by the government” such as guidance counselors and school librarians.
However, those who have committed acts of professional misconduct are not eligible to avail of the scholarship grants.
Uplift the underappreciated
The role of public school teachers in the Philippines “cannot be overemphasized,” according to Tan.
Present conditions, however, deter improvements in the lives of teachers who spend most of their lives educating the Filipino youth. (INFOGRAPHIC: How much are public school teachers getting?)
“They are unappreciated, overworked, and underpaid,” Tan said. “Their salaries are insultingly low and with the high cost of living today, it is no wonder that many of the best and the brightest in the teaching profession are now teaching abroad, or worse, have migrated to work as caregivers or domestic helpers.”
According to Tan, the scholarship grants can boost the morale and self-esteem of the “unappreciated, overworked, and underpaid” public school teachers.
“Hence there is the urgency of instilling professional and personal integrity of teachers by giving them the recognition and the benefits that they rightly deserve,” she said.
Meanwhile, House Bill 195 filed by Deputy House Speaker Miro Quimbo seeks to answer the calls of teachers for a salary hike.
If passed, it will provide across-the-board wage and benefits increase of at least P15,000 ($320) for public school teachers in order to attract more qualified people to work for the government.
Meanwhile, President Rodrigo Duterte, on July 28, vowed that public school teachers – next to the military – are on his list of sectors up for a salary increase. (READ: Duterte: After military, teachers next in line for salary hike) – Rappler.com
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