ACT Teachers solon blasts P100 minimum daily wage of “volunteer” Kinder teachers Calls Palace’s K to 12 program anti-teacher, self-defeating
6 June 2012 Reference: Rep. Antonio L. Tinio (09209220817)
ACT Teachers Party-List Representative Antonio L. Tinio denounces the dismal plight of volunteer Kinder teachers under President Aquino’s K to 12 Program.
“To the front liners of his K to 12 Program, PNoy gives stubs when they need boxes of chalk, misery when they need decent lives,” Tinio laments. “A small family, even the teacher-breadwinner himself orherself, simply cannot live on a P3,000 monthly allowance.”
If computed to a daily rate, the P3,000 honorarium DepEd pays to volunteer Kinder teachers amounts to P100, or four times less than P446, the minimum daily wage for the National Capital Region. This goes up to P200 if the volunteer teacher handles two classes. With a family living wage (FLW) of P993, they fall short daily by P893, or P793, for their own needs and their families’.
Volunteer teachers in far-flung areas fare worse, as they are paid only P2,000 monthly (P66.67 daily) for handling multi-grade or small classes (10 pupils or less). Their daily budget shortfall amounts to P393.33 when computed against the NCR minimum wage (the highest in all regions), or P926.33 when computed against the FLW.
The independent political and economic think tank IBON Foundation defines FLW to be the amount a family of six needs for essentials: P204 daily for food; P2,096 monthly for rent; P1,150 monthly for fuel,light and water; and P28 daily for transportation. IBON’s P993 FLW is based on the 2008 FLW estimate issued by the National Wages Productivity Commission, its latest.
Tinio observes that even the maximum P6,000 allowance is barely enough for daily food expenses of one family. Volunteer teachers teach majority of Kinder classes nationwide. At the hearing of the House Committees on Basic Education and Higher Education Monday, DepEd admitted that it has hired over 20,000 volunteer teachers using its 2012 budget. DepEd hired only 3,000 regular teachers.
Tinio notes that DepEd created the Kindergarten Volunteer Program (KVP, under DepEd Order 21, series of 2012 and DepEd Order 37, series of 2011) as a way to seemingly “solve” the shortage in Kinderteachers, without a thought to the right of teachers to adequate remuneration, among other rights guaranteed by the 1987 Constitution and the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers.
Tinio added that the Palace and DepEd only need to fund more Teacher I items to decisively solve the teacher shortage. “Scrimping on teachers is not the answer, and they do not deserve to be abused andtreated inhumanely. We call on PNoy to give them fair compensation befitting their status as educators, the ones who propel his K to 12 Program.”
Even without delving into the qualifications issue, Tinio believes that KVP dooms the efficiency of K to 12. “The Program is self-defeating because it will flood the education system with overworked yet underpaid teachers, and PNoy knows this. This measly allowance is one of the marks of his insincerity to reform the education system.”