Thursday, November 24, 2016

Teacher riding "Paragos"

A photo of a teacher in Negros Occident riding in “Paragos” a sled pulled by a carabao gone viral after it was posted in the social media. The teacher doesn’t care about the distance and hindrances she has to experience before she reaches the school.

The teacher has to ride over a Paragos to cross the river because that’s the only way she could reach the school in a secluded area. As seen in the photo, the teacher wears her uniform, clutching her shoes as she’s bending down at the top of carabao sled. Only riding in Paragos is the only way, she can get to the remote school.

The photo has already 2k likes, 3,200 shares and received different positive comments and feedback from netizens. Social media users got inspired when they saw the photo of the teacher fulfilling his role in giving education to the students.

This teacher in Negros Occidental was lauded online for the lengths she'd go to just to get to school.

The Donsalvador Benedicto Negros Occidental Facebook page posted a photo of the teacher crossing a river via "paragos," a sled pulled by a carabao.

In the photo, the teacher could be seen in her uniform, clutching her shoes as she crouched atop the sled.

Some of the netizens commented that the government must increase the teacher’s salary for all their sacrifices just to teach. Most of them express their admiration for the teacher.

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credit to the owner of this photo.
Ma'am Analyn Climaco Perez

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Bonuses for public school teachers

Starting this month until the end of the year, public school teachers nationwide can expect the release of their bonuses, including the much-awaited performance-based bonus.

Education Undersecretary Jesus Mateo enumerated the following bonuses for more than 700,000 public school teachers in the country:

Year-end bonus - equivalent to one month of salary
  • Cash gift - P5,000
  • Productivity Enhancement Incentive (PEI) - P5,000
  • Performance-based bonus (PBB) - ranging from P5,000 to P35,000
  • The PEI is an across-the-board bonus equivalent to P5,000 or one month basic salary given to qualified government personnel of agencies that meet the conditions as stated in Executive Order (EO) 181 series of 2015.
The PBB, meanwhile, is a top-up bonus ranging from P5,000 to P35,000, depending on the teacher's performance. It is granted to government personnel in line with their contribution to the department's accomplishment of its overall targets and commitments.

By the end of the year, a teacher with a basic salary of P19,077, then, can get P34,077 up to P64,077 worth in bonuses.

The year-end bonus and the cash gift will be given this month, while the PEI and the PBB will be given before the year ends.

In July, after announcing the start of "incremental" salary increases for the military, President Rodrigo Duterte said public school teachers would be up next.

After her speech at the Education Summit 2016 on November 3, Education Secretary Leonor Briones urged education stakeholders to pay more taxes in order to support the budget for the teachers' bonuses.

"This will surprise the private sector: everybody in all of the teachers would get performance bonuses," she said, answering a question from the crowd regarding the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers.

"We are serious about fulfilling the mandate of the Magna Carta," Briones added.

In a press statement on November 5, Teachers' Dignity Coalition Chairperson Benjo Basas said this year's bonus is an "unprecedented amount" that could be attributed to the increase in teachers' basic salaries.

But Alliance of Concerned Teachers-Philippines national chairperson Benjie Valbuena said his group does not consider the amount of these remaining benefits as unprecedented.

"We have been receiving the said benefits ever since, save for the mid-year bonus which is equivalent to one month salary by virtue of EO 201 series of 2016," he told Rappler in a text message.

Asked to comment about the bonuses, Valbuena said these benefits "should have been made [a] wage hike instead."

Doing so, he told that it would result to the increase having an effect "on bonuses, other benefits, and retirement benefits."

Thursday, September 29, 2016

No more homework

A small but growing number of elementary schools and individual teachers are doing away with the after-school chore to allow kids more time to play, participate in activities, spend time with families, read and sleep.

There’s been pushback against homework from parents in recent years who say their children’s time is monopolized by other activities, said Steven Geis, president of the National Elementary School Principals’ Association.

At North Trail Elementary School, in Farmington, Minnesota, where he is principal, students do what he says is engaging homework.

Some schools and individual teachers are revising their homework policies to ensure that they are effective, he said.

At the Orchard School, a kindergarten-through-5th grade school in South Burlington, Vermont, the principal there said he’s seen more anxiety among students in the last decade. The school opted to do away with homework this school year, based in part on the book “The Homework Myth.”

“They’re just kids. They’re pretty young and they just put in a full day’s shift at work and so we just don’t believe in adding more to their day. We also feel that we are squashing their other passions and interest in learning,” Principal Mark Trifilio said.

Alfie Kohn, the outspoken education lecturer and author of the book, “The Homework Myth,” says homework is a case of all pain and no gain.

“The disadvantages of homework are clear to everyone: exhaustion, frustration, loss of time to pursue other interests and often diminution of interest in learning,” he said. “Homework may be the greatest extinguisher of curiosity ever invented.”

But Harris Cooper, a psychology and neuroscience professor at Duke University, who has been studying the effects of homework for 30 years, disagrees.

He thinks all school children should be doing homework, but the amount and type should vary depending on age and developmental levels.

Cooper led research that reviewed more than 60 studies on homework between 1987 and 2003 and found that homework had a positive effect on student achievement, but the positive correlation was much stronger for students in grades 7-12 than for those in elementary school.

He prescribes homework assignments that are short, simple and lead to success for elementary school kids, he said.

It teaches kids that they don’t just learn in the classroom and helps turn them into lifelong learners while improving their sense of independence, and time management and study skills, Cooper said.

“Homework is like medicine. If you take too little, it does nothing. If you take too much, it can kill you,” Cooper said. “You’ve got to get the dose right, and if you do, it can do wonders.”

A lot of the backlash is a reaction to some teachers assigning too much homework, he said.

A guideline for many schools is 10 minutes of homework per grade: so 10 minutes in 1st grade, 20 minutes in 2nd grade and so on.

“We definitely don’t say ‘no homework’ but we try to keep it reasonable,” said Cherie Stobie, principal at the K-8 Marion school in Marion, Montana.

“The main benefit is just having the additional time to practice later in the day because research shows that if students practice, you know they take a break after they’ve learned something and they practice it again later, it’s more likely to be retained,” she said.

Noelle M. Ellerson, of AASA: The School Superintendents Association, said there has been a small but growing number of schools or teachers revising homework policies or talking about it “whether it’s to do away with it or to shift to a policy where homework is the classwork they didn’t finish during the day or where the homework of the child is to read with their parents.”

At the Orchard School, the children’s daily home assignment now is to read books, get outside and play, eat dinner with family — including helping with setting and cleaning up — and get a good night’s sleep.

“It’s awesome,” 9-year-old Avery Cutroni said of the no-homework policy. She had dance and piano lessons after school recently, so said she had a busy schedule. Plus, she’s reading more on her own, her mother said.

“I think it gives kids a lot time for mental and physical rest which I think is super important,” said Heidi Cutroni, of the school’s elimination of homework. “I think it’s really good for parent-teacher-student relations in all directions and I think it just gives kids a chance to use their time for what their passionate and excited about.”