In the past, teachers, particularly those in public elementary and high schools, were doing other activities outside of their daily, like selling ice candies in their classrooms, to make both ends meet.
They, like many rank-and file employees both in the private sector and government, also became the main clients of loan sharks, usurers who imposed very high interest rates.
What would remain of their incomes were very meager that they could not sometimes bring a sack of rice home even a day after receiving their salaries as some of them did not even have their automated teller machine cards with them as these were their collateral for their loans.
As their salaries started to increase, their credit standings also improved that banks, both government-run and private, took notice. These financial institutions competed to offer them loans with terms better than those of loan sharks. Competition among credit institutions even became brutal that they tried to outdo one another by offering very low interest rates, lower than those being offered to other borrowers.
Taking into account the value of the salaries of government-paid teachers at present, there is a need to come up with a comprehensive evaluation of whether their lives have improved. There is a need to understand whether the higher salaries have not only provided them better purchasing power, but also whether they are able to come up with better spending patterns. In short, there is a need to look into whether they have improved their financial knowledge.
Sometimes, the value of money does not become the best barometer in assessing one’s knowledge in handling resources. There is a need for them to also be educated on how they should spend their incomes so that their lives would become better.