"Bear in mind that the wonderful things you learn in your schools are the work of many generations, produced by enthusiastic effort and infinite labor in every country of the world. All this is put into your hands as your inheritance in order that you may receive it, honor it, add to it, and one day faithfully hand it to your children. Thus do we mortals achieve immortality in the permanent things which we create in common." - Albert Einstein

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The State of Kindergarten

Alliance of Concerned Teachers

A Kindergarten classroom in the United States (left)  
Figure taken from http://kpoindexter.wordpress.com/2011/07/22/2011-2012-classroom-pictures-after/
Payatas C Elementary School, Kindergarten Classroom (right)  
Figure taken from http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=370237213038114&set=p.370237213038114&type=1 


PRESS RELEASE:NATIONALLY-PAID KINDER TEACHERS – LOW PAY AND YET DELAYED


by Act Phils on Thursday, May 31, 2012 at 3:44am 

PRESS RELEASE: May 31, 2012:


Spokesperson:  Mr. Benjie Valbuena, Vice-Chairperson;  Cellphone Nos.:09182399222;                       
                                                                                              09162294515

Media Liaison – Zenie Lao, Cellphone No. 09198198903

NATIONALLY-PAID KINDER TEACHERS – LOW PAY AND YET DELAYED

The nationally-paid kindergarten teachers are just considered as volunteer teachers that is why they are given a measly pay of P3,000.00 per month. And yet this allowance is delayed for almost six months.

“We are forced to borrow money to sustain our daily expenses for food and transportation.  When our pay arrives, this is just enough to cover the cost of the interest and full amount of what we loaned. At other times, it is not even enough. That is why, we will loan again for the next months,”  the kindergarten teachers said.

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers is concerned about the Universal Kindergarten education program of DepEd.  Mr. Benjie Valbuena, the Vice-Chairperson of ACT, expressed the following:

“Last February 27, 2012, the President signed the Universal Kindergarten Education ACT, or Republic ACT 10157 into law.  In his keynote address, President Benigno Aquino III, declared the policy statement of the new law - to provide equal opportunities for all children to avail of accessible mandatory and compulsory kindergarten education that effectively promotes physical, social, intellectual, emotional, and skills stimulation and values formation to sufficiently prepare them for formal education. 

This is indeed a noble intention for the purposes of basic education.  Republic ACT 10157, “An Act Institutionalizing the Kindergarten Education into the Basic Education System and Appropriating Funds Therefor” is an achievement in the education agenda of the President.

But will the purpose of such bill be achieved?  DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro stated that this is just a component of the state’s thrust to push for serious education reforms towards quality basic education.

This coming school year, it is expected that about 2 million young learners have enrolled in this program.  The program should have prepared these young learners to the rigors of regular schooling. However, the present conditions of our public education system could not meet this expectation.  There are basic concerns and problems that have to be addressed immediately to ensure a premium kindergarten education program.  These include:

          1.  The hiring of 30,000 new regular kindergarten teachers who shall be paid in accordance with the Salary Standardization Law 3. This means that they should be paid as Salary Grade 11
(with a monthly salary of P18,549) instead of volunteers who are given a monthly allowance of P3,000.00.  And, of course, they should be given adequate training on early childhood education in order to be qualified as kindergarten teachers.
          2.  That there should be a teacher aide per class which shall be treated as “volunteers”.  They will assist mostly in the technical aspect of the job of the kindergarten teachers.
          3.  Class size should be limited to 25 students per class.
          4.  Grade 1 teachers who are made to teach in kindergarten should be given additional compensation, that is, twenty-five percent of his or her regular remuneration.
          5.  Adequate number of classrooms and sanitary facilities like drinking facilities and toilets.
          6.  Provision of a meaningful curriculum that will truly benefit our learners.  This should help the early learner in his or her preparation for her future – well-rounded citizens that should help in the development of our country. Furthermore,  modules should be provided by DepEd.  Our teachers should not be given the burden to reproduce these modules and pay them our of their own money.

DepEd needs additional budget to ensure the proper implementation of a quality kindergarten program.  The education budget should be 6% of our Gross National Product.”






Office of Representative Antonio L. Tinio ACT Teachers Party-List House of Representatives.

NEWS RELEASE

May 28, 2012 Reference: ACT Teachers Party- List Rep. Antonio L. Tinio (0920-922-0817)

Expect worsening shortages on school opening, says party-list solon.

ACT Teachers Party-List Representative Antonio Tinio warned the public to expect worse shortages of teachers, classrooms, and water and sanitation facilities as public schools open for the new school year on June 4.

Tinio noted that according to information provided by the Department of Education, public schools will face a shortage of 132,483 teachers, 97,685 classrooms, and 153,709 water and sanitation facilities.

“The shortages will get worse this school year because the Aquino administration has failed to provide sufficient funding in the 2012 national budget for the additional requirements of our public school system in School Year 2012-2013, including the needs of 1.6 million incoming kindergarten students,” said Tinio.

The legislator disputed the lower figures cited by Deped for teacher and classroom shortages. “Deped claims that it will have the teacher shortage down to 11,620 by the end of this school year. But that’s only because they include over 49,000 contractual teachers funded by local government units and around 20,000 volunteer kindergarten teachers employed by Deped in their accounting. In truth, these teachers are generally grossly underpaid and deprived of basic workers’ benefits because of the contractual nature of their employment. Deped has a legal obligation to regularize them.”.

“As to classrooms, Deped claims that they will be able to construct 30,000 to 40,000 new ones this school year, through a so-called Public-Private Partnership scheme. The fact is, these certainly won’t be ready by June and it still remains to be seen whether or not the PPP scheme will deliver,” said Tinio.

“The alarming shortage in water and sanitation facilities, meaning clean toilets, faucets, sinks, and running water, will mean that our 21.5 million school children will continue to suffer unsanitary conditions in our public schools, exposing them to health risks and outbreaks of disease.”.

“The bottom line is that the opening of the new school year will show that the Aquino administration has failed to muster the political will and budgetary resources to substantially address, if not solve, the long-running shortages that continue to plague our public school system,” he concluded.#.

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