Teachers' group proposes measures for education recovery, wants budget hike

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 26) — The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Philippines has urged the incoming Marcos administration to impose "game-changing measures" to address issues hounding the education sector.

Raymond Basilio, secretary general of ACT-Philippines, said the education system is facing an "unprecedented crisis" as the group challenged President-elect Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. and Vice President-elect and incoming Education Secretary Sara Duterte to implement their proposed measures.

"Game-changing measures are urgently needed to overturn the decline of education quality and to sufficiently capacitate the education system to perform its role in nation building," he was quoted in a statement Sunday.

The group laid out 10 points, with the first measure calling to "double" the budget for the education sector. Under the 2022 General Appropriations Act, the Department of Education has an allocation of ₱788.5 billion, up by ₱36.8 billion from a year ago.

ACT-Philippines also said the government must hire more teachers to reduce class size. Protocols for the safe conduct of face-to-face classes nationwide must be in place.

The group also wants student assessments across the country to know the extent of the learning crisis and implement a recovery program.

They hope the new administration could provide additional learning resources, such as gadgets, modules, and internet allowance.

They also call for the review of the K-12 program, as well as the reinstatement of Philippine history in the high school curriculum "with stress on factual Martial Law education to counter historical distortion."

ACT-Philippines seeks upgrades for the salary of teachers and education support personnel, improvement in the benefits of education workers, and enactment of the Magna Carta for private school teachers.

"We hope that the incoming VP and education secretary would study and implement these measures to address the many issues confronting the education sector and we are open to discuss these with her," Basilio said.

"We are joining the peaceful assembly of various sectors on June 30, during the inauguration of the new administration, to delivery our demands," he added.