December 02, 2009
Making Education the Priority: NIPS Holds
Focus Group on Teacher Welfare
In its continuing efforts to craft an education policy, the National
Institute for Policy Studies (NIPS) joined Education
. Under its banner, NIPS organized a focus group around
the theme of teacher quality and welfare on 2 December 2009 in Makati
City. In partnership with the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Liberty,
Philippine Business for Education
(PBeD) and the Ateneo Human Rights Center, NIPS invited teachers
and teacher group representatives to a discussion in order to identify
their key concerns.
Participants divided themselves into three groups. The first
group tackled the topic of salary and benefits. They lamented
their dismal salary scale, stating that the salary grade
adjustment is too low compared to the advocacy. They
suggested it should at least be equal to that of the military.
They also criticized their insufficient medical and social
security benefits. They especially censured the Government
Service Insurance System for its poor record-keeping and ill-treatment
The second group focused on questions pertaining to training
and promotion. The teachers spoke on the need for quality
training programs that were focused on innovative classroom
strategies and pedagogy. They also said that
promotion should be indexed on performance.
The last group looked into working conditions. Participants called
for limiting their teaching hours
to six per
day and the reduction of class size.
asked that election duty be made optional
of mandatory, and that there be adequate compensation and protection
especially in election hot spots.
Peter V. Perfecto, PBeD executive director, thanked the teachers
for their candid insights and opinions. He told them that their
concerns would be compiled together with the results of the other
Education Nation workshops. From these Education Nation would
create an education agenda that it will launch in January and
mark as a priority for the next administration to tackle.
Education Nation is a national movement for education reforms.
It is made up of individuals and groups who recognize
that education is too important to be left to the government alone.
It affirms that education is the most powerful means out
of poverty, ignorance, exclusion and war. Therefore every
Filipino must have access to quality education. Education Nation
understands that politics has often been the
bane of education reform, and
thus is committed to engaging government in order to make education