Board exam for teachers in September

Image title

The LET-takers here in Hong Kong in 2014 (file photo).

THE Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) plans to hold another board exam for aspiring teachers in Hong Kong this September, Labor Attaché Jalilo dela Torre said.

Dela Torre said that, if the plan pushes through, the board exams would be held on September 25 for those who intend to pursue a teaching career in the Philippines.

“It has been recommended for approval by the examination division to the board. As soon as the PRC passes a resolution, that’s the time they will open the website for overseas applicants,” Dela Torre said in an interview.

“We expect two weeks from now, we could get (the PRC resolution),” he added.

Dela Torre said that the PRC had already set aside a budget for another Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET) in the territory.

“They have a budget for Hong Kong so it’s just a matter for the PRC itself passing a resolution approving it,” he said.

Dela Torre said there was still no budget for holding a board exam for nurses so that would have to wait until next year.

“Based on my talks with their core group, their target is May 2017 for nurses,” he said.

Dela Torre said the requirements and payment options for those who want to take the LET would be uploaded on the PRC website once the board approves it.

The government has been encouraging teachers who are working as overseas Filipino workers to return to the Philippines to teach.

Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz earlier said that almost 800 OFWs have applied to go back to the Philippines to teach, and nearly half of them come from Hong Kong.

Baldoz said in April that out of the 794 OFW applicants for the ‘Sa ‘Pinas, Ikaw ang Ma’am/Sir’ convergence program (SPIMS), 369 come from Hong Kong.

“This continuing upward trend of OFW applicants signifies the efficacy of the program to re-direct OFW-teachers and even those who are in non-teaching profession to resume and pursue a teaching career in the country,” Baldoz said.

Hong Kong topped the list of SPIMS applicants at 369; followed by Thailand, with 119; United Arab Emirates, 64; Qatar and Saudi Arabia, 46 each; Taiwan, 33; Singapore, 22; Israel, 16; Indonesia and Kuwait, 3 each; Macau, 10; China, 8; Lebanon, 7; Bahrain and Japan, 5 each; Canada and Ethiopia, 4 each; Kazakhstan, Malaysia, and United States of America, 3 each; Brunei, Mongolia, Spain, United Kingdom and Vietnam, 2 each; and Greece, Cambodia, Cyprus, Denmark, Germany, Jordan, Laos, Libya, Myanmar, Netherlands, and Uganda, 1 each.

Baldoz ordered all Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLOs) abroad to continue promoting the program.

She also said those who need to undergo refresher courses, particularly OFWs with no teaching experience, will be endorsed to Philippine Normal University (PNU).

“So far, NRCO (National Reintegration Center For OFWs) has endorsed a total of 367 applicants to the PNU for free Online Refresher Course. Based on PNU data, a total of 144 OFWs are active in their Learning Management System (LMS),” Baldoz said.

SPIMS beneficiaries, including those who had undergone an online refresher course on teaching, are provided with teaching kits amounting to P10,000, sourced from the NRCO livelihood funds.

The salary of a public school teacher in the Philippines under the 2016 Salary Standardization Law (Teacher 1, entry level, Salary Grade 11, Step 1) is P19,077 per month, including a personal emergency relief allowance of P2,000.

A teacher also receives a yearly benefit of clothing/uniform allowance of P5,000; a year-end bonus equivalent to one-month basic pay; a cash gift of P5,000’ performance bonus based on school performance; a productivity incentive of P5,000; proportional vacation pay up to 70 days; 14 days Christmas vacation with pay; and a chalk allowance of P1,000.

She also receives other benefits and incentives, such as one-step increment pay for every three years of satisfactory performance; hardship allowance equivalent to 15 to 25 percent of basic pay if he/she is assigned in hardship posts and if he/she is a mobile teacher or multi-grade teacher.

“Overall, a teacher’s pay is comparable to a (foreign domestic workers’) pay of US$400 a month, but.. We would (also) like them to consider seriously the high social cost of migration,” Baldoz said.