LALICE JOY J. ARQUINTILLO
Head Teacher III, Filipino
Jalandoni Memorial National High School
They say time, money and energy cannot be enjoyed by an individual at the same time. A young person can have both energy and time but not money. A young adult can have both energy and money but not time. An elderly person can have both time and money but not energy.
With the passage of House Bill Number 5509 on its third and final reading in the House Representatives, the lowering of the Optional Retirement Age from 60 to 56 of government workers is timely especially for teachers. Here are the top reasons why this bill should approve by the House of Senate as well.
- Teachers’ effectiveness. Teacher effectiveness is dependent on various factors. Their attitude, skills, and knowledge greatly affect the performance of teachers in implementing the target goals of the K to 12 Curriculum. A teacher (as well other professions) must be a believer that learning should not stop after from graduation from Baccalaureate degree in education. There are instances when a teacher who has reached his or her twilight years often say when given a task, “Ihatag na lang na sa mga bataon kay manug retire naman ako. Iban naman ang maubra.” (“Give the task to the younger teachers. I am nearing my retirement age. Others should be given that responsibility.”) One of these factors that might have prompted those whose age are in retirement age is that their skills and knowledge might no longer be up-to-date or they are already lacking the skills required by the present curriculum.
One of the skills being honed by the K to 12 curriculum is to produce technologically literate learners. A teacher near his or her retirement age might not be skilled in the digital aspects. Thus, difficult for an old dog to learn new tricks. It is possible that despite the requirements needed by teachers in this digital era, teachers no longer have the drive to learn new skills.
- Teacher’s enjoyment. Teachers belong to the most challenged professions of all times. They no longer are constrained as implementers of the Curriculum, they have to implement programs of DepEd in addition to their basic task of teaching. They serve their clienteles and often go beyond their official times without compensation. Thus, they need to enjoy while have the energy.
- Teachers’ monetary benefits. Despite of the DepEd having the chunk of the budget, it is true that it is not enough to finance all the needs of the school. With needs required by the school, teacher often have to dig into their pocket to sustain the needs of the classroom as well as the needs of the learners. With the early retirement, teachers can use their money solely for their personal needs instead of using these to subsidize the needs of the classroom.
Teaching is a great and noble profession that is done out of pure service and not merely monetary rewards. With these points, it is a pressing issue that the retirement age be lowered from 60-56. With their early retirement, teacher can still have time, money, and energy.