The Nationwide Survey on Teacher Advancement for Optimum Well-Being, a study initiated by the Senate Committee on Education, Arts and Culture of the Eleventh Congress of the Philippines, was one such attempt to reach out to the thousands of public schoolteachers, who are entrusted with teaching the next generation of Filipinos. Through the nationwide survey, the Senate sought to find out how nearly half a million public school teachers perceive their profession, working and living conditions, as well as to determine ways by which their situation can be further improved.
The survey was executed by the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization, Regional Center for Educational Innovation and Technology (SEAMEO INNOTECH). We gave SEAMEO INNOTECH the task of forming a picture of the teachers’ academic and professional background, working conditions, socio-economic status, and other issues relating to their needs, benefits and welfare as described by the teachers themselves. Given limited
time for such a massive undertaking, SEAMEO INNOTECH conducted the survey through the various field units of the Department of Education, Culture and Sports, as well as the many associations affiliated with the Department.
Coming on the heels of extensive studies on Philippine education, the survey also sought to highlight how the public schoolteachers perceive their roles, professional preparation, and current working conditions. Although the previous studies were already exhaustive and extensive, we gave new importance to knowing the public schoolteachers’ present sentiments and perceptions.
The TAO survey, while achieving more than what it has set out to do, also opened up more issues and questions. On the whole it served to reinforce the point that much remains to be done about our teachers, schools, governance systems, and even the communities serviced by the public school system in fulfilling our aim of giving the Filipino youth the best preparation for a challenging and dynamic future.
With A Profile of the Filipino Teacher, we highlight one key player in the education system. It is but a small beginning in addressing the countless concerns of a huge and overriding national concern to improve the quality of basic education in the country.