Mandatory retirement age at 56-below for teachers? (Features)

February 24, 2014 7:54 am 

By Lily O Ramos

MANILA, Feb. 23 (PNA)— Should mandatory age of retirement for teachers be lowered to 56 and–below instead of the regular 65?

According to Legislative liaison specialist Francis de la Cruz, of the office of Department of Education (DepEd) Legislative Affairs, maybe it’s the current 60 years optional age of retirement that should be reduced to 56 because there are more teachers who would want to finish their government employment at 65 as jobs would be hard to come by then.

”Besides, the Government Insurance System Charter would have to be overhauled or amended if we want teachers to retire after 15 or 16 years of service at 56 just like those from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). Other government employees would surely demand for the same privilege and that might cause sudden workforce reduction which may not be good in the long run,” said de la Cruz.

Nearing retirement but young- looking Alma Tadina, principal of Manila’s biggest public high school Ramon Magsaysay said, ”Yes, I am in favor of retiring at mid-50 although those who want to stay beyond because they have no other job training or are faced with financial problems, may elect to stay longer.

Tadina said the chasm of generation gap nowadays has become wider. “‘Student character and discipline have changed so much; it’s very distressful to deal with young people who are hard to handle, disrespectful and disobedient as they disregard accepted or traditional norms.

“Besides, when you reach the age of 50-60, a teacher becomes a little more short in patience, irritable and aware of his/her body’s wear and tear. There’s a feeling of wanting to relax a little and enjoying what’s left in the sunset years by cultivating neglected hobbies and things that have been neglected before.”

Spritely, 63 year old Adelaida M. Reyes , principal of Legarda Elementary School, Manila’s biggest elementary school, said “I’m all for earlier than 60 retirement because even at 40 a teacher could feel he/she is getting easily sick due myriad of problems in the job like small pay resulting to inability to meet financial obligations brought about by a large or extended family, assignment in far-flung places with minimum comfort, or lessening confidence in capability to deliver because of physical deterioration.”

Reyes, like Tadina has been teaching for more than two decades before latching to management position which is a lot better in terms of labor and easier lifestyle. “I’m a happy person and lucky to be healthy with a lot of power yet in me since I’ve been a great fan of health care when I was younger. Health matters so much for everyone; it’s something that money can’t buy. You may have much cash at hand but what value does it have if you can’t enjoy it or run out of it in paying for treatment,” Reyes said.

Pretty 64-year old Victoria Pamienta, Cavite officer in charge of Schools Division Superintendent: “I would like to tell my fellow teachers that there’s life after teaching;– just go for it, be it a consulting job, establishing a new business, developing a hidden art talent or visiting your relatives abroad and enjoying new environment. There are plenty of things to be done when you are retired being a school mam.

“Surely, I would recommend 56-and-below retirement for teachers so they could go off searching for new sources of income while they are still mentally and physically strong and capable of dishing out their skills and talent. One can only take so much in this technologically advanced but no peace world. That does not mean that everyone should take the same path, if they think they’d rather reach 65 with their boots on, so be it.”

At 43, Nelia Villanueva, Mathematics Department head of Carmona National High School of Carmona, Cavite likes the idea of mandatory retirement at 56-below so the younger crop of teachers can takeover , but maybe a teacher should spend a little more than 16 years, say 20 so that they can get all the benefits from GSIS.

”Believe me, when you have enough time to explore the world outside the classroom, you will learn and experience a lot of things that is life enriching. However, for those who consider teaching their life and vocation or avocation, they should be given the chance to make a choice, whatever is the reason.”

Neptali Gonzales High School, Mandaluyong Social Studies head Leandro Espiritu said it’s good if mandatory retirement age for teachers is pegged at 56-below.

“The distance between students and teachers is real problem. First, parents seem to have left the burden of character building and behavior formation to the teachers and when their kids go astray, they blame the classroom teachers whom they think are surrogate parents.

He rues the fact that students are braver now in disobeying their teachers because they are protected by DepEd Order Number 40 Series of 2012 which says teachers who humiliate students will face administrative liabilities.

Bullying includes scolding students in front of classmates and punishing misbehaving ones by requiring them to stand and face the wall. <pHe hastened to add that although the world is medically advanced with all sorts of cure for every ailment, teachers are bound to get creaky and rickety due to daily stress which may lead to heavy expenditure for vitamins, hospitalization and health foods just to cope up with their duties and responsibilities. (PNA)

CTB/LOR

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