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Teachers may chalk up P9.85 daily pay hike

5 September 2011 No Comment

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12:34 am | Sunday, September 4th, 2011

 

If they still fail this time, they might as well “chalk” it up to experience.

Education Secretary Armin Luistro said his department could only meet the demand of public school teachers for an increase in their so-called chalk allowance if Congress would approve its proposed budget for 2012.

A rarely reported item in the teachers’ paycheck, the chalk allowance refers to the daily subsidy that supposedly covers their purchase of chalk used in classrooms.

At present, teachers receive P700 a year—or about P3.50 per school day—for this most basic of teaching aids.

The militant group Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) is pushing for an increase in the annual chalk allowance to P2,000, or about P9.85 per day.

But to meet this demand, the Department of Education (DepEd) would need a budget of P1 billion to cover some 500,000 public school teachers nationwide. That’s almost three times the current DepEd chalk fund of P350,000.

Teachers pay for it

In a House budget hearing last week, Luistro said the department could grant the teachers’ requests for a higher allowance if Congress would approve its proposed P237-billion budget for 2012, which was 14 percent higher than this year’s P207-billion education budget.

“Of course, we will increase the chalk allowance if we are granted an increase in the budget,” Luistro said in an interview on Friday.

ACT party-list Representative Antonio Tinio has filed House Bill No. 4134, or the draft Teaching Supplies Act, in support of the subsidy increase.

According to Tinio, cash-strapped teachers often end up shelling out their own money to buy classroom supplies.

“Is there any other government agency that forces its employees to pay for office supplies out of their own pockets?  It is only in the DepEd that teachers must pay for teaching supplies out of their own meager salaries,” the lawmaker said in a statement.

Tinio said raising the allowance would ease the burden of public school teachers already struggling with wages lower than what their counterparts in private schools receive.

 

(Source: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/52635/teachers-may-chalk-up-p9-85-daily-pay-hike)

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