By Lori Lyn Lirio
TWENTY three public school teachers from Saipan have completed their certifications thereby paving the way for a much deserved salary increase.
The Chamorro and Carolinian Languages and Heritage Studies Program said the certification completion was done after the teachers completed the two courses they offered.
CCLHS director Jonas Barcinas said teachers are taking courses on multicultural education and first and second language acquisition. The one-week courses were held at the Hopwood Middle School from June 25 to 29.
“This is for the Board of Education’s alternative certification for CCLHS teachers,” Barcinas said in an interview.
He added many teachers who are in attendance are still lacking a few more courses.
“Some of them need to take nine certification courses in order for them to be fully certified,” Barcinas said.
In October 2017, the PSS has implemented a salary schedule for its 1,300 employees.
Last March, PSS Human Resources director Lucretia Borja reported to the BOE that 97 personnel, including teachers, counselors, and instructors, have to obtain the required certifications in order for their salaries to be adjusted.
“The Office of the Curriculum Instruction and as director of the CCLHS, we have to offer these two courses because the teachers need that credit hours and get their certification,” he said.
“From there, it would really help those teachers that have been waiting for their salary compensation adjustment.”
Before offering such courses, Barcinas said he first conducted a survey to teachers on what certification they still lacking. He also said there are nine courses that teachers have not taken yet, including multicultural education, first and second language acquisition, Chamorro orthography, Carolinian orthography, introduction to technology, introduction to teaching, teaching inclusive instruction for children with special need and others.
“Those are the courses that they need to take in order for them to be certified as instructor I, II, III,” he said, adding there are about 43 CCLHS teachers who need to complete such certifications as required by the Board of Education under the alternative certification program.
“It is a great thing that the BOE leadership repealed the PRAXIS I and removing those barriers by giving our CCLHS teachers alternative. Chamorro and Carolinian is a different thing compared to the regular classroom teachers. We don’t have a lot of people having degrees in bilingual bi-cultural,” he said.
Barcinas said the many CCLHS teacher have been in the system for so long.
“In order for us to retain them, we need to provide those supports for them.”