Home » In The News

Budget tightening could worsen teacher shortage

3 September 2011 No Comment

by Christine F. Herrera

THE PARTY-list group allies of President Benigno Aquino III on Thursday warned of a massive shortage of teachers next school year should the Palace insist on taking control of the P2-billion budget for unfilled positions in state universities and colleges and the Education Department’s P8.89-billion outlay for 31,288 teachers.

Over dinner at Mario’s Restaurant Wednesday night, Kabataan Rep. Raymond Palatino and ACT-Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio took turns in stepping up the pressure on Budget Secretary Florencio Abad to return to the Education Department and to the state universities and colleges their respective budgets for personal services.

Those were included in the P100 billion in lump-sum appropriations that the Palace wants centralized and controlled by the Budget Department.

Palatino and Tinio said the state universities and the Education Department should be given a free hand in disbursing the funds because those were being used to hire part-time or contractual professors and teachers to ease the lack of teaching staff.

They said there were 1.2 million students enrolled in 111 state universities and colleges and some 21.5 million enrolled in 43,439 public schools nationwide this year.

“The number of students is expected to balloon next year because of the influx of transferees from private schools to public schools and the massive recruitment in day-care centers, kindergartens and elementary and high schools because of the 9 million dole recipients from the targeted 3 million households,” Tinio said.

“Since the Palace imposed budget cuts and austerity measures, [those schools] and [Education] officials had to make do with the meager budget that they had.

“Instead of hiring one faculty for a permanent position, they hire two part-time professors or contractual teachers.”

Tinio says a part-time teacher earns P6,000 in compensation without benefits. Half of the teaching staff in state universities and colleges and public schools are part-time or contractual teachers.

Malacañang says it wants to centralize the disbursement of P100 billion in lump-sum appropriations for the sake of transparency.

“All the [state universities and colleges] have to do is write to us and show us the list of the people to be hired to fill the positions and we will turn over to them the money,” Palatino and Tinio quoted Abad as telling them.

“Why do you want them to beg from you?” Palatino told Abad.

“And why should we be the one telling [them]? You tell [them]. You issue a memo to them. We are here only to inform you of the consequence of your decision to strip them of control over the appropriation for unfilled positions.”

(Source: http://www.manilastandardtoday.com/insideNews.htm?f=2011/september/2/news3.isx&d=2011/september/2)

Comments are closed.