Bu-lat-lat (boo-lat-lat) verb: to search, probe, investigate, inquire; to unearth facts

Vol. V,    No. 11      April 24- 30, 2005      Quezon City, Philippines











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Future Looks Dim for Education Graduate
(Second of three parts)

It will be take 3 in the licensure exams for education graduate Jymsie Amora Racoma in August. To Jymsie, who worked as a maid to earn her college degree and ended up in her old job after graduation, the future looks dim.

By Carl Marc Ramota

Every year, only about a fourth of 100,000 graduates pass the Licensure Examinations for Teachers (LET) administered by the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC). The bigger number who don’t make it join those who have passed the LET to remain jobless for years.

One of them is Jymsie Amor Racoma, 25, an Elementary Education graduate from a private school in San Jose, Antique, in central Philippines. She is the eldest among six siblings.

Amor admitted that Teacher Education was not her first choice for a profession but had no other option. After stopping for two years due to financial problems, she went back to college and finished her degree in 2002. Unfortunately, like most of her batchmates, she flunked the LET the following year. This August, it will be her third take for the LET.

"Most of my batchmates became idle after graduation,” Amor said. “Most can't teach because they are yet to pass the LET. But even LET passers become idle because there are no vacancies."

One major reason why most of her classmates and the previous batches who passed the LET could not teach is the long process of employment as well as low salary and poor working conditions.

Years of waiting

"We all have to wait for another teacher to retire or die just to land in a teaching job,” she lamented. “The waiting may take years."

Amor revealed that a qualified teacher needs a padrino (a sponsor, usually an influential person or politician) to back her teaching application even as volunteer teacher. Many volunteer teachers are usually sent to remote and mountainous areas without any pay.

"Either you become idle and eventually end up as a housewife or you find other jobs, even as a maid, to sustain yourself and your family," she pointed out.

Amor herself worked as a housemaid in Manila to finance her college education. After earning her degree, she ended up back in the same job.

"I tried to work for fastfood chains but they (owners) always turn me down because I'm a Teacher Education graduate. They say I'm overqualified for a service crew job. Some of my classmates and others from the previous batches were lucky - they were hired as salesladies in department stores here," she explained.

But for most of them, she said, the only option left is to work as a househelp. "I had to work to support the studies of my younger sisters, even if it would mean working as a maid. Some of my batchmates who even passed the LET also work as maids."

This is the reason, Amor said, why the future for most teachers is uncertain. "Even if I finally pass the LET this year, there are no teaching jobs available,” she said. “Besides, a teacher's salary can barely sustain a person, much more a family. I wanted to go abroad but we have no money for that." Bulatlat

Related articles:

Maids Work to Teach, Teachers Work as Maids (First of three parts)

Education: A Low State Priority (Last of 3 parts)



© 2004 Bulatlat  Alipato Publications

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