Teachers Cannot Run Away From Loans and Debts
We work because we need to live, not live to work. As a human being, we need to survive in this competitive world we live in. We work and earn, if we don’t work our buts of a single day, we will starve. It means we work because we need to earn money to buy everything that will support us and those who lean on us like our families.
Teachers are also human being and we are not excluded in this survival of the fittest game. I have seen the many faces of despair in the eyes of my co-teachers who were victims of this turmoil that scarcity is leading. Many would think highly of teachers to the extent that they really think that teachers do have lots of money with them (which is the opposite). It is true that financial literacy and financial management should be included in teacher’s seminar but is this really what is true? Do teachers need financial literacy and management in order for us to save a lot from the salary we have? I guess there are more reasons why most teachers are incapable of saving. There are reasons that pushed them to risk their pay slips and try to apply for loans from private loaning agencies. Aside from loans, there are several debts that need to be paid off every month.
Now, I will give you list of reasons why government teachers here in the Philippines indulge themselves in loans and more loans and even selling their ATM cards if needed:
Teachers are usually paid off once a month every 22nd
Salary comes once in a month and even before the salary is given, the amount is already budgeted and divided. We need to budget everything (food, water bill, electric bill, tuition, loan payments and so on) tightly and sometimes, even deficit. It is hard to save because the salary is given once a month which means more debts (we need to eat) the days prior to the release of the compensation.
Feed not only themselves but their family and extended family
Most of the teachers are the breadwinner of the family. This sometimes is the reason why there are a lot of teachers who stayed single for all those years. The need to feed the entire extended family is relatable and clear because of the close family ties that Filipinos have.
Buy necessary things for their classrooms
Not only the needs of the family are being budgeted, sometimes we need to cut-off a little amount so that we could make our classrooms presentable (because some small schools don’t have budget like other big schools do). A teacher’s classroom is her second home far away from home sweet home.
Study while they can for growth and promotion
There is no such privilege that give teachers opportunity to have scholarships like in the state universities, so teachers use their own money to enroll in master’s degree and doctorate for growth (though this is personal but still the government should provide scholarships open to all who are willing). After all, the teachers if given an opportunity will still impart what they learned to the school and be an advocate of change if there is.
Indulge in house projects that need cash loans
This is very famous among teachers especially those that are newly married, those who wants to build a house for their parents, or those who wants house renovation. There is no other means to get a bulk amount for housing project other than to get a loan from banks and other private loaning institution with high interest rates.
Contributions that are not allowed but still practiced in the schools
This is not applicable to all schools (because there are schools who have huge budget when it comes to special activities and they have a lot of MOOE) but this is usually practiced by small schools because sometimes there are activities that needed immediate budget then the most easy means is to collect from the teachers to meet the needed amount (sad but true).
Medical fees and maintenance
Although we tried our best to remain healthy all the time but still, there are really times that sickness will hit us due to the nature of our work (we are prone to sickness like pneumonia and other lung illness). The fact that teachers are prone to dust from our classrooms and the chalks, we are more likely to catch some illness once or at some point even thrice a year. In order to maintain our health, we need to take needed medications and supplements to avoid getting viruses and other sickness that are way too dangerous for us. Of course, we also need to protect our students by not contracting them with what virus we have. Since health is wealth, then all teachers need to be healthy to earn.
These are just the main reasons I find that teachers do as a routine, that’s why most of us cannot get out of loans and debts. We just mainly try to survive though. I think the lists are true not only to teachers in the government but also to private ones. Let us just say that it is difficult to earn huge here in our country. We earn just enough to survive but even then we are very thankful for all the opportunity bestowed to us. Still, we are more than blessed to be part of the workforce. We don’t complain because we love our work as we love ourselves. – Clea | Helpline PH