RESEARCH ON TEACHER MIGRATION

OPENS PANDORA’S BOX FOR WOMEN LEADERS

In response to the pressing problem of teacher migration, a robust review of the existing conditions and their impacts to the Filipino families, school learners, and educational system at large have prompted the Education International–Asia Pacific (EIAP) affiliates in the Philippines to conduct a national research under the leadership of the Samahang Manggagawang Pilipino–National Alliance of Teachers and Office Workers (SMP-NATOW).

The SMP-NATOW, in collaboration with the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT), Federation of Free Workers(FFW-TF8), and Teachers Organization of the Philippine Public Sector (TOPPS), had aimed at exploring and discussing the feminization of the Philippine labor migration. The national research has employed a triangulation approach covering a total of 1,276 teachers across the country vulnerable to migrate from work.

Demographics-wise, the study revealed that the majority of the respondents were married, have already earned graduate school units, relatively young, female, have been teaching for more than a decade, and regularly employed.

Accordingly, it was not easy for the Filipino teachers to migrate and accept the challenge of teaching foreign students elsewhere in the world for they had to give up their homes, sell their properties, and make a sacrifice to be away from their loved ones. Many Filipino teachers too are forced to work overseas because of ridiculously low salaries, heavy teaching and non-teaching load, crowded classrooms, a stifling bureaucracy, corruption at various levels, and lack of opportunities for career and personal growth.

When more experienced teachers are leaving Philippine schools, the quality of education in the country is gradually at stake. The continued outflow of teachers has contributed to the average shortage of 20,000 teachers as each school year opens that promotes only contractualization in the long run.

A number of significant and well-timed policy recommendations were proposed by the teachers’ organizations to chart new and improved direction of the teacher migration in the country. The recommendations are framed in ensuring the protection of the migrant workers especially the women teachers.