BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved a resolution encouraging all the different foreign language schools offering online and non-online programs operating in the city to provide either meal allowances or free lunch for teachers and tutors.
The resolution authored by Councilor Leandro B. Yangot, Jr. pointed out that teachers and tutors fear retaliation for bringing up their issues, such as free lunch, with administrators of foreign language schools considering that their silence constitutes consent as the industry becomes more professional, thus, there is a need for comprehensive development for teachers, especially because the teachers employed in private language schools are at a disadvantage against those who teach in public schools and that schools have the duty to treat their teachers with dignity and compassion.
Further, Yangot asserted that access to food is a basic human need and should be considered a right.
The resolution noted that the sudden boom of English learning schools in the city started from hiring individual Filipino tutors to teach the foreign students at the convenience of their own home and as time passed, the English schools offered better curriculum than individual tutors.
It added the reason many students, regardless of citizenship, prefer to settle and study in Baguio City is because of its cool climate and one of the safest places in the country.
The resolution pointed out that in fact, several foreign and local visitors can walk alone at night around the city with no harm being done them.
According to the local legislator, the demand for English teachers has grown over the past decade and indeed, many policy makers advocate increasing the quality of teaching, but there is considerable debate about the best way to measure and improve teacher quality.
The resolution claimed that meal allowances for teachers or the provision of a meal instead of an allowance are viewed as an investment for the future which is aimed at improving the teachers health and well-being.
Yangot explained that since inception, however, free lunch or meal allowance to English teachers is a rarity except for school staff and the practice has been denied for over a decade now, thus, it is a sentiment shared by teachers from all the language schools leading to a decline of their morale.
Copies of the resolution will be forwarded to the existing Baguio English Schools Association and all English Schools in the city for their information and reference.
The local legislative body expressed confidence the administrators of English schools in the different parts of the city will adhere to the request of the teachers a reasonable meal allowance or free lunch at the most, as part of their non-cash benefits to be accorded to them in exchange for the services they render to the institutions providing tutorial services.
Aside from the demand for decent compensation for the services they render to the English tutorial schools in the different parts of the city, thousands of teachers employed by the foreign administrators want humane treatment from their employers through the provision of reasonable non-cash benefits.
By Dexter A. See