Editorial: Let our teachers teach

EVERYONE is quite aware of the amount of non-teaching tasks public school teachers have to deal with everyday.

According to the policy notes of Clarissa C. David, Jose Ramon G. Albert, and Jana Flor V. Vizmanos, “actual teaching is increasingly being sidelined by the multitude of other responsibilities and roles that teachers play.” The policy note was published on Philippine Institute of Development Studies (Pids) website on February 2019.

The policy note states that a public school teacher, under the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers, “is mandated to devote a maximum of six hours of actual classroom instruction a day.

“In reality, however, several additional administrative or student support roles are assigned to each teacher,” read the policy note.

These non-teaching tasks include paperwork on seminars and trainings they are tasked to attend; additional designations in line with student guidance, budget, disaster response, and health; and participation in the implementation of various government programs like mass immunizations, community mapping, conditional cash transfer, deworming, feeding, population census, anti-drug, and election, among others.

“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),” Department of Education (DepEd)-Davao director Evelyn Fetalvero said in a press conference on Tuesday, December 10.

She pointed out that due to activities that are not related to teaching, this may have also caused the Philippines’ low performance in the Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa). Conducted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the result of the assessment showed that the Filipinos scored low in reading comprehension, mathematics, and science.

Aside from malnutrition and too much use of gadget, the non-teaching activities of the teachers may have affected the efficiency of the teachers in delivering the lessons to the students. Instead of being able to study the lesson properly and develop innovative ways to teach the students, their focus is now divided with non-teaching tasks.

Therefore, it is a welcome development that DepEd will hire 5,000 non-teaching staff in 2020. DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones said this is part of their efforts to ease the workload of the teachers.

However, in the long run, we hope that non-teaching responsibilities of teachers will be minimal. With this, we hope that teachers will be more focused in delivering their lessons and become more creative and effective in the way they teach.


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