Invest in teachers to improve RP education
Senator Richard Gordon stressed the need to invest on teachers to significantly improve the quality of the country's education system, which has been lagging behind compared to neighboring countries.
At the Kilalanin Presidential Forum held at the De La Salle Zobel School in Alabang, Muntinlupa City, Gordon said that education should be a priority of every government, especially of a developing nation, to enable and ennoble the people.
"Poverty is an absence of choice. If people are not educated, they have limited choices in life. That is why education must be number one," the Bagumbayan-Volunteers for a New Philippines party standard-bearer said.
"I would be an Education President. Teachers would be number one for me because they are the ones who mold the minds and guide the values of our children. They are with our children eight hours every day. Kapag nagtratrabaho sila nanay at tatay, ang mga guro ang nangangasiwa sa mga bata. We should take care of our teachers because they play an important role in the lives of our children," he added.
Gordon explained that what needs to be done is not only to increase the salary of teachers, but also to upgrade teaching competence through continuous training to be able to address the low proficiency level of students especially on Math, Science and English.
"Better teachers would pave the way for better and well-informed students. Continuing educational program for teachers is a must for our society today," he stressed.
Gordon has long been advocating for the upgrading of standards of the country's education system. He has a bill pending in Congress, called the Health and Education Acceleration Program (HEAP), which aims to spearhead the rehabilitation and improvement of the education and health systems.
His Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) has been largely allocated for construction of public elementary school buildings around the country together with the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc.
In 2007, after his visit to Sulu, Gordon reported to the President the need to hold the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC) licensure examinations in Sulu because many teachers have not been properly qualified for government service. In the past, education graduates in the province had to travel to Zamboanga City or other parts of the country to be able to take the exam, entailing more expenses on their part.
When he was Mayor of Olongapo, Gordon built schools in many parts of the province and also created the Regional Science High School III and the University of the Philippines Diliman Extension Program in Olongapo.