Teachers present 10-point challenge to new DepEd Secretary

This article is available in Pilipino

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) has presented a 10-point challenge to Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara, the newly appointed Secretary of the Department of Education (DepEd), to improve the quality of education and address the demands of teachers in the country. According to ACT, “game-changing” measures are needed to reverse the decline in the quality of education in the country.

The following are ACT’s challenges to Angara:

  1. Push for the doubling of the education budget
  2. Aggressively address the enormous backlogs in classroom and facilities construction
  3. Push for the development of culturally appropriate national assessment test, instead of relying on PISA, to determine the nature and extent of the learning crisis
  4. Provide sufficient and quality teaching and learning resources such as gadgets, textbooks, etc.
  5. Overhaul the K-12 curriculum towards an education that molds a Filipino citizenry with strong patriotic ideals, trained in scientific study, capable of critical and creative thinking, and possessing a deep sense of service to the people. Reinstate Philippine History as a dedicated subject in the high school curriculum; strengthen the teaching and use of Filipino and Mother Tongue in education;
  6. Urgently push for substantial salary increase for teachers and education support personnel (₱50,000 entry-level salary for Teachers and ₱33,000 monthly salary for Salary Grade I employees); support the call to set minimum salary standards for private school teachers;
  7. Aggressively work for the creation of sufficient education support personnel items for school administrative duties; regularize contractual workers
  8. Work for the improvement of the benefits of education workers such as enough days for sick leave,allowance, lower optional retirement age, and more.
  9. Ensure the enjoyment of academic freedom of all teachers, and full union rights
  10. Implement a democratic style of governance, hold regular dialogues and democratic consultations, ensure the representation of teachers’ unions in all decision-making bodies that affect their welfare

ACT hopes that Sen. Angara will remain amicable with teacher unions and organizations to discuss crucial education reforms. ACT has engaged with Angara on various issues in the past. “Hopefully, he will remain friendly, unlike his predecessor who was a Red-tagger,” according to ACT.

However, teachers are aware that being a legislator, which Angara has been for several years, differs significantly from serving in the Cabinet, which is tied to and expected to follow the President’s wishes.

Sen. Angara’s tenure as DepEd chief will commence on July 19, a month after Sara Duterte’s resignation from the position.

AB: Teachers present 10-point challenge to new DepEd Secretary