IT looks like something promising and exciting is waiting for public school teachers who would later become school principals or administrators.

With Executive Order (EO) No. 174 signed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte establishing the expanded career progression system for public school teachers, every teacher stands a chance of getting a higher position and salary.

This EO provides teachers merit-based career progression or promotion opportunities. As this becomes a motivational factor for teachers to perform better, this will ultimately benefit our learners in terms of better teaching-learning experiences.

This merit-based career progression encourages teachers to increase their knowledge, improve their strategies, and enhance their 21st century skills.

Currently, the teacher-positions in public schools are Teacher I to III and Master Teacher I to IV. This means that someone with a Teacher III position can be promoted to Master Teacher I if he or she meets the qualifications.

Now, with the new positions under EO No. 174 which include Teacher 4 to 7, teachers will have the chance to be promoted easily to a higher level as long as they have the competence and experiences.

Without the complete guidelines yet, we can see that the hiring rate of Salary Grade (SG) 11 for Teacher I will move one SG up for each higher level. This means a Teacher VII position will have SG 17 which is currently equivalent to more than 41,000.

A Master Teacher (MT) I has SG 18 salary which is equivalent to more than 45,000. An MT II is equivalent to School Principal (SP) I at SG 19 which is more than 49,000. So, MT II to V is also equivalent to SP I to IV.

The Master Teacher V, which is a new position, or School Principal IV has SG 22 equivalent to a salary of a supervisor at more than 69,000.

These Teacher I to VII and MT I to V positions are under the classroom teaching career line. For the school administration career line, it will compose of Principal I to IV.

A teacher with a Teacher VII position, upon achieving the MT I position, may choose whether to pursue a classroom teaching career or school administration line.

This is something that the teaching personnel of the Department of Education (DepEd) will look forward to. Aside from this good news, teachers are also anticipating the leadership of Vice President (VP) Sara Z. Duterte as the new Education Secretary.

Although the programs are already established in DepEd, its teaching and non-teaching personnel are looking forward to innovations – something that they feel would happen under the leadership of VP Duterte.

These new positions created and this career progression will also entice Senior High School graduates to pursue a course related to Education. But non-Education graduates can also teach in public schools as long as they earn units in Education for them to qualify for the Licensure Examination for Teachers.

It is also high time for colleges and universities to give more attention to Education courses, and promote assertively some areas of specialization in the Bachelor of Secondary Education program with few students.