A teacher and her students learn together at the Pedro Cruz Elementary School in San Juan City as it reopened its face-to-face classes on Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022. (File photo by GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE / Philippine Daily Inquirer)
MANILA, Philippines — ACT Teachers party-list Rep. France Castro on Sunday renewed her call to put at par teachers' pay with the wages of nurses, soldiers, and police officers.
The lawmaker also vowed to push efforts to raise the quality of teachers and, in turn, help boost quality learning in schools.
In a radio interview on Sunday, Castro lamented that teachers' pay has been stuck at salary grade 11, at least P25,000 a month, while wages for nurses, police officers, and soldiers have long been elevated to salary grade 15 and receive at least P35,000 monthly.
According to Castro, President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. as well as Vice President-elect and incoming Education Secretary Sara Duterte could start with addressing the salaries if they are keen on improving the lot of teachers.
"They should first address the injustice that teachers have long been facing in terms of their salary," Castro noted.
"The starting pay of teachers has long been at salary grade 11 while other professionals, like nurses, military men, police officers, are already at salary grade 15," she pointed out.
Castro said, "What we want is for our teachers' starting pay to be at salary grade 15 so they would be getting wages similar to our nurses, soldiers, and police officers."
Likewise, she vowed to push for a teachers' summit where the current capacity of the nation's educators would be fully evaluated to introduce reforms aimed at raising the quality of teachers. A measure has been passed by both houses of Congress for the summit.
"Hopefully at the opening of [the 19th] Congress that would be held so we can determine the skills required [by our teachers] that would be needed to also be transferred to our students," she said.
According to Castro, the low quality of teachers cannot solely be blamed on the training they are given but also on the amount of nonteaching work they are burdened with.
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