The teacher shortage
Published by the Visayan Daily Star Publications, Inc.
|NINFA R. LEONARDIA|
Editor-in-Chief & President
NIDA A. BUENAFE
MAJA P. DELY
ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA|
The Department of Education in the Philippines has started its implementation of the revolutionary new program it has named the K to 12, which will dramatically change the method and the length of time Filipino students will spend in school, for them to attain the type of education that will make them competitive with those from other countries.
The adoption of this program was not done without loud protestations from sectors that believe it would not be attainable, especially by families that do not earn enough to fund the studies of several children. Thanks to the tenacious approach of the present secretary of education, and the strong support extended by the President, the project has finally began.
There are, however, problems that even the most enthusiastic supporters of the K to 12 admit to be the blocks to its success. Number one of them is, naturally the financing of the program, which could be addressed by grants other countries may offer. Another is the lack of qualified teachers to handle the additional classes and students expected with its implementation. Although the Education Department had announced the hiring of some 50,000 recently, there is an almost equal number still needed to ensure that the implementation goes smoothly until the potential teachers, now still in school, can take over.
There is, however, a pool from which the Education department and the schools can draw from in the meantime. This is the group of thousands of retired teachers, many of whom are still active enough and capable enough to handle classes, even if only on part-time basis.
Many of these retired teachers are, in fact, now engaged in other occupations because they still feel they can contribute to the community and use the know-how and experience they had gained in all those years of teaching. But what they have worked on and gained the most from was teaching. Now that our government needs such skills and experience, why does it not consider the re-hiring of these teachers as it embarks on this new program?
It is certainly an idea worth considering.*