‘More teachers, non-teaching personnel needed’

Neil Jayson Servallos - The Philippine Star
�More teachers, non-teaching personnel needed�
Students of Aurora Aquino Elementary School in Malate, Manila actively participate during their first day of classes on August 29, 2023.
STAR / Edd Gumban

MANILA, Philippines — More teachers and non-teaching personnel need to be hired to effectively implement the Department of Education (DepEd)’s new policy that removes public school teachers’ administrative tasks, according to the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC).

“(The 10,000 non-teaching personnel hired by DepEd last year) is not enough even if we deploy one personnel per school, considering that we have more than 47,000 public schools nationwide,” TDC chair Benjo Basas said in a statement yesterday.

Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte last month signed Department Order 002, which prohibits DepEd division and regional heads and school officials from assigning administrative tasks to teachers.

“We may need to boost our school operation by hiring much-needed guidance counselors, school health workers, librarians, property custodians, security personnel, utility workers and other staff to completely free our teachers from non-teaching-related tasks,” Basas added.

Teachers have been complaining about being saddled with administrative tasks despite existing laws that prohibit them, such as the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers and other DepEd orders.

Some schools have been forced to assign teachers with administrative tasks due to the lack of personnel.

Duterte earlier said the agency would hire 5,000 administrative personnel this year.

Without manpower, the group said the department order could justify increasing the maximum teaching load to six hours, which is the limit established by the law.

If this happens, DepEd will not hire additional teaching staff and many teachers will be declared excess and transferred to another school, the group noted.

The agency also needs to clarify its order and list tasks that teachers should not handle, Basas added.

The department order declared that teachers no longer have to handle personnel administration, property custodianship, general administrative support, finance, records and program management.

The TDC urged DepEd to “reduce paperwork and other tasks of teachers such as narrative reports, complicated performance assessment, irrelevant meetings and seminars and cumbersome lesson preparation, among others.”

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