NON-SCHOOL-related activities of teachers contributed to the dismal performance of Filipino students in reading, math, and science, an official of the Department of Education (DepEd)-Davao said.
"Dahil sa maraming program ng gobyerno na kung saan kami ay kalahok, nawalan kami ng panahon na sana yung time ng guro, na sana ginugol sa teaching and learning ng mga bata, kung saan naka focus lang kami (Because of the teachers’ involvement in some programs of the government, our time is consumed, which should have been allotted for teaching and learning of the students)," DepEed-Davao Regional Director Evelyn Fetalvero said in a press conference on Tuesday, December 10.
Fetalvero was reacting to the results of the Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa), wherein Filipino students fared worst in reading comprehension and second-lowest in both mathematic and scientific literacy among 78 other nationalities.
DepEd, in an earlier statement, said it recognizes the urgency of addressing issues and gaps in attaining quality basic education in the Philippines.
Fetalvero said the Philippines joined the Pisa, a study organized by Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), an intergovernmental economic organization, to determine the baseline performance of the current K to 12 education curriculum in the country.
"For the Philippines, we aimed to join Pisa so that we could have a very good measure kung ano ba talaga ang ating baseline data. Hindi po ito meant to be ranked from other countries. (For the Philippines, we aimed to join Pisa so that we could have a very good measure for our baseline data. It is not meant for us to rank ourselves with other countries)," she said.
The DepEd official said most public school teachers are being tapped for other government activities. She cited the 4Ps Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, and the Gulayan sa Paaralan, a DepEd program in partnership with the Department of Agriculture as some programs wherein teachers are involved.
She added that teachers are sometimes tapped in huge events such as the Palarong Pambansa.
Fetalvero, however, clarified that they are in support with the programs of the government.
"We are not complaining. We are just stating facts na naging factor para mabawasan ang contact time ng guro na sana harap-harapan nila ang bata (These are the factors causes less interaction between the teachers and the students)," Fetalvero said.
The DepEd official recommends that teachers should focus on their teaching loads. She added that non-curricular activities can be passed on to other non-teaching personnel.
Meanwhile, she said the Pisa result is an eye opener not only for the teaching personnel, but also to other stakeholders.
She added that parents should also do their share in coaching and guiding their children, especially with the advancement of gadgets.
"Ang hirap na kaya magpabasa ng basa ngayon. Mababa nasab attention span sa bata brought about the existence of gadgets and all other gaming avenues (It's hard to let these kids read nowadays. They have a short attention span brought about the existence of gadgets and all other gaming avenues)," Fetalvero said.