Recto seeks to raise teachers’ chalk allowance to P10k
by Marje Pelayo | Posted on Friday, July 12th, 2019
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Ralph Recto believes the current amount of P3,500 that teachers receive as chalk allowance is not enough for their needs inside the classroom.
Thus, Recto filed a bill seeking to raise such monthly allocation to P10,000.
“Chalk allowance” is a popular term for monetary assistance the teachers receive at the opening of the school year to purchase items needed for instructions such as chalk, pens, paper and other school supplies.
“Chalk allowance is to teachers as what bullets are to soldiers. And those waging the war against illiteracy need more of this ammunition,” Recto said.
The Department of Education (DepEd) allotted a budget of P2.9 billion for this year’s chalk allowance for public school teachers.
Recto’s proposed measure will require an additional P5.4 billion from the government.
If approved, Recto said, teachers would no longer use their own salary to buy supplies for their teaching and they would have enough to comply with the mountains of reports they need to submit.
by Maris Federez | Posted on Monday, May 27th, 2019
UNICEF on Saturday (May 25) has given out 50 portable and digital classroom packages for select schools in Samar and Northern Samar to help improve student learning in multi-grade classes.
In a press release, UNICEF explained that “multigrade classes are inclusive systems wherein children with different developmental levels, abilities and needs mix and learn together in one classroom under the guidance of one teacher.”
The UN’s children’s agency said that it has partnered with the Department of Education (DepEd), PLDT-Smart, and SEAMEO-Innotech in launching the program.
“Each school-in-a-bag package handed over today equips classes with a projector, one teacher laptop and tablet in one, five student tablets, DVD player, USB memory drive, and pocket wifi with starter load,” the statement added.
It said that around 2,500 disadvantaged school children will benefit from the project.
“Today’s turnover of school-in-a-bag packages aims to bring 21st-century learning to all children, particularly for learners from isolated and indigenous poor communities. This is part of our long-standing commitment that every Filipino child realizes their right to quality education,” UNICEF Representative a.i. Julia Rees said in the agency’s statement sent to media.
She added that the agency looks forward “to replicating the project in other parts of the country where it is needed most.”
As the project’s technology partner, PLDT-Smart developed a learning app in Waray and Ibakon languages, and packaged customized, relevant e-learning resources for tablets and laptops.
The development of this app is based on the review and feedback from multigrade teachers and implementers who completed the training on Contextualization of Multigrade Teach-Learn Material in Region 8 in February 2018.
As an implementing partner, SEAMEO-Innotech, on the other hand, has been helping improve access to quality learning by coordinating and organizing activities with the DepEd.
UNICEF’s statement added that the lack of schools, teacher absenteeism, run-down facilities and the lack of inclusive learning set-up for children from indigenous communities or for children with disability are some of the reasons why about 2.8 million school-aged Filipino children are not in school or enrolled in alternative learning options.
Samar and Northern Samar are among UNICEF’s geographical priority areas where some of the most disadvantaged children are. Priority areas also include Western Samar, Zamboanga del Norte, and the five provinces in BARMM, namely, Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi. /mbmf
Deped Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan said “I guess the local situation will still be important because even in non-hotspot areas, it’s the usual but you can also be sure that teachers have been there and done that in the longest time that we’ve been involved as a support institution for the conduct of the elections.”
Deped explained that teachers have the right to back out from serving in the election if their area is under threat.
During these situations, the police and the military will replace teachers as members of the electoral board.
Under Republic Act 01756 or Election Service Act or ESRA, serving in the elections is voluntary work.
Aside Mindanao, areas under Comelec control also include Daraga, Albay; Jones, Isabela; Lope de Vega, Northern Samar, and the whole province of Abra.
“I think to the extent that Comelec has not approached us to talk about a crisis situation then we feel that it’s still in order,” Malaluan said.
Meanwhile, Deped also hopes that Congress will approve the proposed budget for the honoraria of teachers voluntarily serving in the May 13 elections.—Aileen Cerrudo (with reports from Aiko Miguel)
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