Hiring of 10,000 teachers ongoing
Education Undersecretary for planning, human resource and organizational development and field operations Jesus Mateo said their recruitment activities are ongoing despite the DepEd being on work-from-home mode since March.
Philstar.com/ Gladys Cruz
Hiring of 10,000 teachers ongoing
Rainier Allan Ronda (The Philippine Star) - July 3, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines  — The Department of Education (DepEd) is pushing through with the hiring of 10,000 new mentors as it pursues its learning continuity program or LCP amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) new normal and physical distancing protocols.

Education Undersecretary for planning, human resource and organizational development and field operations Jesus Mateo said their recruitment activities are ongoing despite the DepEd being on work-from-home mode since March.

“Hiring is ongoing. In fact, application has started as early as December,” Mateo said yesterday.

He said if there was remote enrollment being resorted to by teachers to get students enrolled for school year 2020-2021, they was also remote hiring or recruitment.

Job interviews of potential teacher-hires were done online, he added.

Mateo said the hiring of 10,000 teachers was supported with the necessary payroll budget approved by the Department of Budget and Management.

He stressed that the DepEd is looking at a teacher to student ratio of 1:40 as they are set to implement blended learning this school year.

The DepEd also declared that the remote enrollment and dropbox methods continue to be observed for the student enrollment campaign as it denied a claim of militant teachers’ group Alliance of Concerned Teachers that it was forcing teachers to scour their respective localities to enroll students.

“The Department of Education has been made aware of a statement by an organization alleging that teachers in several provinces are being ordered to visit communities to convince parents to enroll their children for school year 2020-2021,” the DepEd said.

“Upon checking with field units, this claim by this group has been found to be false and without factual basis. No complaints were received from any of the areas they mentioned,” DepEd said.

“We would like to emphasize that when the LCP was formulated before the enrollment period, part of the protocol required teachers to check the status of their former learners. They can do this by text, telephone and other means,” DepEd said.

Anne Sevilla, education undersecretary for finance, said as of July there were 16,876,175 students enrolled for both public and private schools for the coming school year.

Pilot testing

Opposition lawmakers suggested that less than two months before the reopening of classes, the DepEd should pilot-test its new modes of learning for the so-called new normal in the public education sector.

House Minority Leader Bienvenido Abante Jr. aired their group’s sentiments on viable options the department can adopt to allow the country’s students to continue their education when classes open on Aug. 24.

“DepEd says they will be able to continue with classes via alternative modes. But the infrastructure and equipment challenges are considerable, and we still have to consider training our teachers under this new setup,” he said.

The opposition legislators raised their concerns especially since the enrollment figures have been dismal as a result of the global pandemic where parents of students, including the national government, wanted classes to resume only if there would be a vaccine to fight COVID-19.

Abante acknowledged “the fears of parents nationwide are understandable” and that “until there is a vaccine, no parent will be comfortable sending their children out to schools.”

Meanwhile, Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian is urging public and private basic education institutions to mobilize their Child Protection Committees (CPCs) against violence and abuse of learners.

Gatchalian made the call over mounting student reports of sexual harassment at the hands of teachers.

He underscored that CPCs should stay vigilant and proactive in monitoring and handling sexual harassment and other child abuse cases, especially since the postponement of physical classes does not remove the threat of abuse from teachers, other school personnel and the peers of learners.

Reports showed that some high school students from a college have complained of sexual harassment and emotional manipulation committed by some teachers, now the subject of an investigation by the DepEd. Delon Porcalla, Cecille Suerte Felipe

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