Tell it to SunStar: The exodus of teachers

SunStar Tell it
SunStar Tell it

By Renester P. Suralta

The exodus of teachers has continued over the years. There is no indication it will slow down or stop. Both teaching and non-teaching personnel, young and old alike, leave their jobs here for common and obvious reasons --better pay and opportunity.

Many teachers are not paid salaries that match their educational qualifications and experiences. They feel underpaid, which causes them to seek employment elsewhere. Others have to endure poor working conditions. Teachers often work in overcrowded classrooms with limited resources and support. The stress and pressure of these working conditions can lead to burnout and exhaustion.

Teachers are burdened with administrative tasks that take away from their teaching time and reduce their effectiveness in the classroom.

These seasoned teachers and school heads trained by the government suddenly resign to bring with them their experiences, acquired skills and training to benefit learners abroad. The Department of Education (DepEd) ends up hiring and training new teachers and school heads again. It has become a cycle through the years.

The agency is doing nothing about this perennial issue. It will hire and spend again for training rather than give handsome pay to keep the best teacher on the job. If the DepEd secretary herself is not in favor of salary increases for public school teachers, how can the President make it a priority?

Our top contribution to education in the world market is our best teachers. The Philippines has become the number one exporter of teachers to the United States, Canada, New Zealand and the rest of the world and is unmindful of the brain drain effect. Ironically, the highest-budgeted government agency cannot keep its professional workers at bay. By international standards, the quality of education continues to suffer and depreciate in the country. When schools lack experienced teachers, the neophyte teachers cannot replace them immediately. It takes time for new teachers to level up and parallel old-caliber teachers.

Undervalued teachers lead to low morale and a negative school culture. It is hard to attract and retain teachers in public schools under these circumstances.

Moving out of teachers is a serious problem. It should be examined and reviewed carefully by experts and lawmakers from different perspectives. Edcom 2 official results this year reveal there’s miseducation in our educational system. The K-12 curriculum has failed millions of graduates in terms of employability. Can the MATATAG Agenda to be piloted this opening school year resolve all these issues? Hopefully, it will. Or else we shall continue to dissect and overhaul our curriculum repeatedly.

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