This act is very important to the teachers in the public schools. It protects the rights of the teachers, like tenure of office, academic freedom, and other benefits for their well-being. There is a section in this act that mandates the head of office to inform the teachers of this code. Unfortunately, this is not so. Some teachers are not privy to any provision of this code, and this code has not been discussed with them. Whenever a question arises as to the legality of any action by the teacher, he or she has to find a copy of this code.
There was a teacher who requested for a study leave for one year. Since she did not know that she is entitled to a study leave with pay, she applied for a study leave without pay. The principal told her that her application might not be approved as this is no longer allowed. She was advised to personally talk to the superintendent and discuss her request with her. Her papers did not have the endorsement of the principal. When she talked to the superintendent, the superintendent told her to go back to her principal and have her papers signed by the principal first before the superintendent signs it. When the papers were finally signed by the two school officials, she went to the regional office for processing. To her surprise, she was told that she is eligible for a study leave with pay as she has already served more than seven years. She was shown a copy of the Magna Carta. Isn’t it deplorable that the information must come from a mere processing clerk than from the two school officials? Aren’t they supposed to be the source of information? Is this not a case of withholding information for some ulterior motives?
Magna Carta for public school teachers serves as the guide to “utter” protection and freedom, away from threats and terminations from the concerned authorities. If you are not aware of this law, you are always threatened by the administrators or any person in authority to terminate you from work once you violated the law. For the information of everybody, the Magna Carta has significantly defined along with its history in the English realms, it is also known as Magna Carta Libertatum, an English 1215 charter which limited the power of English Monarchs, specifically King John, from absolute rule. Magna Carta was the result of disagreements between the Pope and King John and his barons over the rights of the king: Magna Carta required the king to renounce certain rights and respect certain legal procedures, and to accept that the will of the king could be bound by law. Magna Carta is widely considered to be the first step in a long historical process leading to the rule of constitutional law. All of them are patterned after the present Magna Carta law for teachers.
In order to be protected from abuses, etc. I think every teacher must have a copy of this Magna Carta with him so that whenever he feels aggrieved, he can refer to this law to protect his rights. And that is the essence of Magna Carta for teachers both in the public and private schools in the Philippines.