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Philippines - Teaching Profession

Education Encyclopedia - StateUniversity.comGlobal Education ReferencePhilippines - History Background, Constitutional Legal Foundations, Educational System—an Overview, Preprimary Primary Education


The higher education system is not producing enough teachers to meet the expanding needs of the entire educational system of the country. In the academic year 1990-1991 DECS reported that there was not enough teachers. In elementary education they needed some 24,260 teachers, while secondary education lacked 22,450 teachers. These deficits were caused by the provision of free public secondary education. The mere 19,608 increase in students studying teacher education from 1990 to 1995 was not sufficient to fill the lack of teachers. As was stated in the overview, for school year 2000-2001 there was a lack of 29,000 teachers. The teaching career is not attracting students since it has a reputation for being an underpaid and unrewarding profession. Despite incentives from the government, more students are taking up commerce, perhaps due to the image of the business profession as a faster route to social mobility. Reports have also indicated the existence of corruption within the educational system and this greatly affects the morale of faculty and staff.

Recent studies have shown that not only is there a need for more teachers in the sciences and mathematics, but that present teachers in these two fields have to undergo further training and development. In 1989, the Philippines received a major grant from the Japanese government to begin construction of two new teacher retraining facilities in science education. These facilities are located in Baguio City and inside the University of the Philippines-Diliman campus.

In 1987 the Ministry of Education, Culture, and Sports sponsored the Task Force to Study State Higher Education. It recommended the identification and designation of certain campuses for teacher retraining. These campuses would serve as centers for advancement of education in designated special fields of teaching. The Task Force also recommended using actual public schools for practice teaching rather than university-based laboratory schools. This was done to promote the relationship between educational teaching programs and public schools.

The qualification to teach in elementary and preprimary schools is a bachelor's degree in elementary education. To teach secondary education, the teacher must have either a bachelor's degree in education which a major and a minor; an equivalent degree but also with a major and a minor; or a bachelor's degree in arts and/or sciences with at least 18 education units for teaching in high school.

Decentralization efforts in elementary and high school educational systems will require a more active role from principals, superintendents, and local community leaders. The TEEP and the SEDP programs are responsible for monitoring this transition process. Public institutions for higher education require that the teacher have at least an M.A. to be awarded the rank of Assistant Professor. Labor laws stipulate that faculty members become permanent (similar to tenured) after three years. The evaluation for this promotion is mostly based on performance, attendance, and tardiness. Extra-curricular activities such as publications, research, scholarship, and community services are rarely required. Since teaching is neither a lucrative nor a well-paying job, many professors in medicine, engineering, law, and business teach only on a part-time basis while maintaining other jobs within the industry. A DECS survey during the late 1980s showed 16 percent of total faculty members in public schools as part-time, while over 40 percent of the faculty in private schools were part-time.

In 1987, a study of 64 of the 78 State Colleges and Universities showed that of the 10,546 faculty members, 57 percent were women, 56 percent had only their B.S./B.A. degrees, about 33 percent had M.S./M.A. degrees, while 10 percent had their doctorates. This 10 percent rate goes down to 4 percent when private school faculty members are included. The decade from 1991 to 2000 marked a 400 percent increase in the salaries of public school teachers. However, the added expense cut into the funding for public elementary education, textbooks, educational materials, and facilities. The marked increase in teacher salaries only gave them a compensation package that is 1.2 times higher than the poverty threshold.

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