Archive for the education Category

More Filipino teachers off to jobs abroad

Posted in education with tags on June 28, 2009 by MASP

By Philip Tubeza
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 10:03:00 06/26/2009 Filed Under: Overseas Employment, Education, Philippines – Regions

MANILA, Philippines—The exodus of Filipino teachers to other countries is expected to continue in the coming years, according to a labor group.

The Public Services Labor Independent Confederation (PSLINK) said on Wednesday two places were the likely magnets for Filipino teachers—the United States, which would need two million teachers in the coming decade, and Arab countries, which would need at least 450,000 teachers.

The group said teacher shortages, growing populations, and expanding educational systems in many other countries coupled with the dismal work conditions and salaries at home could push local teachers to go abroad.

“Demand for teachers across the United States continues to remain high even if the North American country’s economy is in a deep recession,” said Annie Enriquez-Geron, PSLINK general secretary.

“There are estimates that the United States will need to employ an additional two million teachers in the coming decade to maintain its current educational standards and closer to three million if it strives to improve them in order to stay globally competitive,” she added.

Geron said more than 10,000 foreign teachers are recruited by the United States every year to fill its demand.

“There is also very high demand for new science and math teachers in the US with estimates by the Business-Higher Education Forum in Washington putting the figure at 200,000 at the least,” she added.

In the last 10 years, around 4,000 Filipino teachers—mostly math, science, English, and special education teachers—left the country. This figure included only new hires for teaching jobs and did not include those who left the country for work other than teaching, the paper said.

The top destinations were the United States, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates, the paper added.

According to a UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (Unesco) study, Geron said, the Arab states will face “the greatest teacher shortage in the drive to provide every child with a primary education by 2015 as the region will need to raise the current stock by 26 percent and create another 450,000 teaching posts in less than a decade.”

“As more developed countries face a graying workforce, they are increasingly resorting to the recruitment of skilled teachers from less developed countries. This phenomenon had already been foreseen by (European) countries since the ’90s, warning that aging teaching forces may eventually lead to shortages,” Geron said.

“For instance, more than 60 percent of all primary teachers are over 40 years of age in Canada, Italy, and the Netherlands; and more than 40 percent are over 50 years old in Germany and Sweden,” she said.

Geron said another factor contributing to teacher shortages in more developed countries was the declining interest of their nationals in entering the teaching profession.

According to a survey conducted by the temporary staffing agency Manpower Inc., teaching is the second hardest job to fill in the US. Many of their nationals, the study said, would rather pursue other more financially rewarding careers than become a teacher. Low salary and unattractive working conditions were often cited as reasons not to enter the teaching profession, Geron said. (But for a teacher from a developing nation, salaries would still be significantly more than what they earn at home.)

“Unfortunately, instead of addressing employment conditions of the teaching sector, governments of more developed countries are finding it more convenient and economical to recruit migrant workers, many of whom are offered lower pay and contractual jobs that deprived them of their due benefits,” she added.

Geron said the dependence on migrant skilled teachers in developed countries was leading to aggressive recruitment strategies by their governments, recruitment agencies, and the private schools themselves.

“There have even been governments which have created special agencies just to recruit teachers from other countries. Private teacher recruitment agencies in the United Kingdom have mushroomed to more than 100 while there are more or less 70 in the United States,” she added.#


YOUth Got the Power, YOUth got to Vote!

Posted in education, nation, politics with tags , , , on June 22, 2009 by MASP

ftvYOU Vote, YOU Transform!

Young voters comprise the majority of the voting population every elections. This doesn’t only mean the youth can swing the results of the elections, but it also tells us the power of the youth to significantly contribute to the institutionalization of deeper and meaningful reforms in our political system.

Using this power is not only important, but is also necessary and urgent. The country is currently facing a serious political and economic crisis. The space for reforms provided by EDSA 1 and 2 has been bastardized by traditional politicians who put personal and myopic interests above the interests of the nation. Competence, credibility, and good governance have been replaced by popularity, prominent family names, and wealth.

Voting and being active during elections would not guarantee immediate reforms and changes in our political system. However, it is an important start: by electing as many progressive candidates as possible, the chance of having more reforms and changes in our politics becomes greater.


There will be hundreds of candidates that will be running for different positions in the coming polls. Add that to the thousands of voters who will flock to their precints and you’d probably consider skipping this elections and staying at home instead.

Much of the stress that takes place during election day can be significantly reduced if we go to our precincts ready and well prepared. And we don’t prepare for the election on the day of voting itself: this must be done much earlier to have the advantage of time to learn more about our candidates, or our own position on issues.

Here’s a simple step by step guide to a well-informed and stress-free voting:


Instead of relying on the candidates to tell you about the issues that you should hear from them, why not do it other way around this time? Remember, elective officials are supposed to represent you and the people’s concern should set the priority issues or platform of the candidate.

One practical thing to do is to list down the issues that you feel strongly about. Many young Filipinos feel strongly about the kind of education that they get, or how accessible education is, or the chances of getting a job after their studies. Others are more interested in their participation in the government’s decision-making processes, from the proposed abolition of the Sangguniang Kabataan to having meaningful consultations with public officials.


This isn’t as hard or difficult as it sounds. We don’t have expect young voters to have the solution to the problems and issues that the country faces. But the idea is, other than knowing what issues the candidates should champion, we should also have a sense on how they should propose to solve or handle issues.

One good way to do this is to contact other youth groups or civil society organizations that have done research on specific issues and have proposed policies or solution to these issues.


It’s election season and a lot of traditional politicians are spending millions of pesos to project a different and a more attractive image. This makes it difficult to get more information directly from the candidates, but then we need to be persistent. There are many possible sources of background information on the candidates, if the candidate is a re-electionist, then get a copy of the candidate’s voting record. This would tell us how they decided on certain issues. Obtain a list of the bills that he or she supported or voted against, his or her project and programs, and get a copy of his or her statement of assets and liabilities to see his or her financial or business interests. If a candidate is not an incumbent, then get a copy of his or her platform and position papers. Be attentive to the media reports on the candidate. If worse comes to worse, then brave the candidate’s campaign sortie, where sometimes voters can get a chance to talk to the candidate directly.

Look into leadership skills of the candidate. Does he or she accept invitations to debates or does he or she have the patience to listen to the voters? Are his or her campaign materials accurate?


Candidates oftentimes have spin doctors, or political operators, that write their speeches or develop their platforms. This makes it important to evaluate the materials that you have obtained to have a more discerning and critical assessment of the candidate. A lot of candidates avoid ambush interviews from the press precisely because they do not know a thing about important issues and at times this is more revealing than the impressive resumes that were provided by the candidate’s campaigners.


Talk to your friends or to your family about your impressions of the candidate. This helps broaden our perspectives on the issues that we care about and may even help us obtain more information and data for our political decisions. Remember, though, not to discount your personal opinions or perspective of others. Be broad-minded. Since you are doing this way before the Election Day, you have the luxury of time to analyze all the stuffs that you’ve heard.


Review your data and compare the candidates, ask yourself who among the candidates champion the issues you feel strongly about. Check, who is doing his or her campaign fair and square. Then choose the candidate that you will vote for.


Of course if you feel strongly about the candidate, and if you really want him or her to win, you can always join his or her campaign!

-First Time Voters (FTV) Network