GMA Urges Incentives For Math, Science Teachers

Former president now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has proposed the grant of incentives that will inspire students specializing in mathematics and science to pursue teaching careers.

Along with her son, Camarines Sur Rep. Diosdado Macapagal Arroyo, the former President, now under hospital detention on a plunder charge, underscored the importance of creating and maintaining an adequate pool of highly qualified, motivated, and globally competitive teachers to train the Filipino youth and keep the country at part in global development competitions.

The Camarines Sur lawmaker is backing House Bill 6494, filed by Mrs. Arroyo, as co-author.

''To be major players in the global arena, it is of paramount importance to have exceptionally and highly educated students. But without the contribution of our teachers in the molding of the youth, it will be close to impossible to create such an ideal studentry,'' the young Arroyo said.

Mother and son said HB 6494 seeks to develop globally competitive science and mathematics teachers and advance their specialization, sustain interest in this field and encourage them to stay in science and mathematics teaching.

Under the bill, incentives are provided to upgrade the competence of those who are in such fields of teaching as priority in government grants, allowances, study visits, placement, publications and research support, wherever appropriate, to teachers and students who enroll in science or mathematics teaching courses.

Another incentive is a waiver from the Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC) to allow new graduates to teach between graduation and taking the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET).

The measure also grants teachers a higher starting pay than their basic salary; giving rewards to top scorers in the LET as well as giving merit promotions through examinations.

To further encourage non-science and non-mathematics majors, the bill provides for promotions for those who have completed a certification program in science content.

The Arroyos proposed the creation of a Science and Mathematics Teachers Development Fund to finance programs for the continuing improvement of teachers' skills.

''The passage of this bill will ensure that teaching in the fields of science and mathematics become as competitive as other professions as well as the availability of competent teachers to educate Filipinos for global excellence,'' the younger Arroyo said.