Students and teachers at all levels of education are still fighting the underfunded and ill thought out K12 education reforms in the Philippines. The reforms aim to make schools cater for all pupils from kindergarten through to senior high school and to make such education available to all. However, as is so often the case, the reforms, which sound good on the surface, have been rushed through without consultation with teachers, and worse they are woefully underfunded.

The net result of the reforms is likely to see thousands of teachers losing their jobs. The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) who are leading the protests, say that the real problem with education in the country is a lack of resources. For example out of $1.5 billion which was supposed to have been earmarked to build new classrooms and repair the present crumbling stock, only $40 million has actually been spent. Moreover starting teachers in the country only earn $400 a month and staff have not had a pay rise since 2009. 

Philippines teachers have been waging a long campaign for a moratorium on the reforms and for proper funding and pay, including teaching classes about corruption among politicians on strike days. They have received wide public support for their stand.

Teach for All to the Rescue!

Meanwhile Teach for the Philippines - that country's iteration of Teach for All, is sending 'some of the most promising' graduates into schools to work for two years because, according to its CEO Clarissa Delgado, scion of the logistics corporation Delbros: 'The root challenge for us is to improve the quality of teaching in the Philippines.' So while teachers are spending their lives working with low income children and striving to give them a good education on meagre pay and in near intolerable conditions, this group, supported by Swiss bankers UBS, is purporting to solve the 'problem' of the quality of teaching, which is standing between low income people and prosperity.