In the geographically isolated and remote rural communities of the Philippines, mere going to and from school is a challenge especially to grade school pupils. Aside from lack money to buy school supplies or books, the physical and geographical location of their community hinder these pupils to go to school. Everyday there are pupils/students in these areas who need to pass through a hanging bridge made of vines, walk for several hours, cross a river, take a boat ride and/or even climb a mountain in order to reach the nearest school in their locality. The 2016 Annual Poverty Indicator Survey (APIS) recorded, “Accessibility of the school (school is very far/ no school within the barangay/no regular transportation)” remain as one of the reasons for dropping out of school.
At this point, other than classroom shortage, the need for home-to-school roads should also be addressed. Normally, schools are strategically located in order to provide basic education to a community with the most number of students. However, in the far- flung areas or the geographically isolated areas, where there are not enough number of school-aged children, building a classroom and providing teachers for all levels is not always a feasible solution. It will not be cost-efficient to build a school in a community with a small number of expected enrollees. While, building roads to make the schools more accessible to these pupils/students from these communities may take a long time.
The waters, mountains and other terrains make it more challenging for pupils/students to have access to basic education. As a result, pupils/students may not be able to withstand the challenges of attending school on a daily basis. Poor attendance leads to poor performance in school and worse may lead to dropping out from school. The number of drop-outs may be small in number but very prevalent especially in far-flung areas all over the country.
Deployment of Teachers to the Barrios or the geographically isolated communities will be an effective way to address the problem of accessibility to basic education. It is also a more feasible and cost effective solution to classroom shortage and home to school roads problems. Moreover, it provides additional employment to teachers.
This bill aims to institutionalize a Teacher to the Barrios program for the Department of Education (DepEd) to provide basic education to the pupils/students in geographically isolated communities. It is in effect putting up a one-stop-school in the community, where a teacher shall be deployed to educate the pupils/students with a parallel module to that of a formal elementary education but on a relatively informal setting and schedule. The pupils who successfully finished education thru the “Teacher to the Barrios program” can be considered elementary graduate and can qualify to enroll in high-school or in a technical school. This may give the children in the geographically isolated and remote areas a fair chance in opportunity to have a good education and eventually get a good job.
House Bill No. 9037
AN ACT TO INSTITUTIONALIZE DEPLOYMENT OF TEACHER TO THE BARRIOS
Introduced by DIWA Party-list Representative Pepito M. Pico
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Republic of the Philippines in Congress assembled:
Section 1. Title. – This Act shall be known as the “Teacher to the Barrios Act.”
Section 2. Declaration of Policy. – It is hereby declared the policy of the state to protect and promote the right of all citizens to quality education at all levels, and shall take appropriate steps to make such education accessible to all1.
Section 3. Objective. – The general objective is to provide the country with competent Teachers to remote, far-flung and/or geographically isolated areas who will conduct study sessions and provide formal basic education to all school-aged children in the said locality. The specific objectives are:
a. To make basic education accessible to all school-aged children in the remote, far-flung and/or geographically isolated areas;
b. To augment the teaching force and school infrastructure needed in the remote, far-flung and/or geographically isolated areas; and
c. To provide items for additional employment for teachers in the government.
Section 4. Teacher to the Barrios Program. – The Department of Education is hereby mandated to create a program, whereby teachers shall be deployed to remote, far-flung and/or geographically isolated areas educate the pupils/students with a parallel module to that of a formal basic education in a form of study sessions, which may be conducted in a public community halls, or a private hall/place.
The pupils who successfully finished education thru the “Teacher to the Barrios program” shall be considered as primary elementary graduates and shall qualify to enroll in junior high-school or in a technical-vocational program.
Section 5. Teacher to the Barrios Pool. The DepEd shall maintain a pool of teaching force to be deployed at any time to remote, far flung or geographically isolated areas. The minimum requirements for a Teacher to the Barrio shall be the following:
a. Bachelor of Science in Education graduate, a licensed teacher is preferred.
b. Filipino citizen.
c. Physically and mentally fit.
d. Certified to be of good moral character.
e. Willing to work in depressed and hard to reach areas for a full academic year.
Section 6. Compensation and Benefits of a Teacher to the Barrios. The Teacher to the Barrios shall receive a basic salary equivalent to an entry level elementary teacher. In addition to the basic salary, the Teacher to the Barrio shall be entitled to the following benefits:
a. Representation allowance;
b. Transportation allowance;
c. Hazard pay;
d. Social benefits, including but not limited to, Philhealth, GSIS, Pagibig; and
e. Opportunity to Postgraduate studies, provided that the Teacher to the Barrios has rendered a minimum of five years of service.
Section 6. Determination of Areas for Deployment. The DepEd District supervisor in coordination with the Local Government Unit (LGU) and the Local Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) shall determine the local communities, where a teacher to the barrio in needed and shall be deployed.
Section 7. Local Government Unit Participation. – The LGUs may request for the deployment of Teacher to the Barrios in the local communities/barangay within their jurisdiction. A written request shall be submitted to the DepEd District Supervisor supported by a resolution passed by the Sanggunian Bayan and approved by the local Chief Executive.
The LGU may also provide community halls where the learning sessions may be held during the entire program of the teacher to the barrios.
SECTION 8. Appropriations. – The Secretary of the DepEd shall immediately include in the DepEd program the implementation of this Act, the funding of which shall be included in the Annual General Appropriations Act
SECTION 9. Implementing Rules and Regulations. – The DepEd, in coordination with the DSWD, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), shall promulgate and issue the guidelines and implementing rules and regulations for the proper implementation and execution of this Act within sixty (60) days after the effectivity thereof.
SECTION 10. Separability Clause. – If for any reason, a provision or part hereof is declared invalid, other provisions not affected thereby shall remain in full force and effect.
SECTION 11. Repealing Clause. – All laws, decrees, executive orders, rules and regulations contrary or inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.
SECTION 12. Effectivity. – This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation.
House Bill No. 9037 or Teacher to the Barrios Act History
FULL TITLE: AN ACT TO INSTITUTIONALIZE DEPLOYMENT OF TEACHER TO THE BARRIOS
PRINCIPAL AUTHOR/S: PICO, PEPITO M.
DATE FILED: 2019-02-06
ACTIONS TAKEN BY THE COMMITTEE ON RULES
REFERRAL TO THE COMMITTEE ON BASIC EDUCATION AND CULTURE ON 2019-02-07