DepEd Mandaue seeks 50 admin staff

Logo grabbed from DepEd's Facebook page
Logo grabbed from DepEd's Facebook page

THE Department of Education Schools Division Office (DepEd-SDO) in Mandaue City has requested the Mandaue City Government to hire at least 50 job order (JO) or contract of service (COS) personnel to assist in administrative duties for the teaching staff.

This aligns with the recently released DepEd Order 002, s. 2024, which aims to relieve administrative tasks from public school teachers and prioritize quality education.

Request

During a local school board meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024, Edgar Espina, administrative officer of DepEd-SDO Mandaue, presented a request from the Division to assign at least two to three administrative officers (AOs) per school.

These AOs will be responsible for general administrative support, including program management tasks, such as launching school-based feeding programs, school disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) and other related programs.

Espina admitted that Man-daue City has been struggling with a shortage of AOs. To address it, existing AOs have been grouped into clusters, with each AO responsible for handling administrative tasks in at least three public schools.

However, this has led to excessive workloads for current AOs.

Mandaue City has 45 public schools, including elementary and high schools, with about 100 non-teaching personnel.

Bianito Dagatan, Mandaue City division superintendent, clarified that the teachers would still handle their curriculum-related tasks, such as subject coordinatorships, which involves curriculum development and student assessments.

Dagatan explained that they prioritize deploying AOs in public schools with large populations, while the AOs would have arrangements for dividing tasks for smaller schools at the time.

City Government response

In a separate interview, Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes said they would need to assess the tasks requiring distribution to determine whether to hire JOs or COS personnel for the job.

Cortes emphasized that the assessment would also determine the exact number of city-based AOs required.

He stressed that selecting workers for these jobs demands thorough deliberation, as some tasks require technical knowledge.

According to the Commission on Audit, COS employment refers to the hiring of an individual, private firm, nongovernmental agency, or international organization to perform a specific job or work that requires special or technical skills that are not available in the hiring agency. The work should be completed within a specific period of not more than one year.

JOs, on the other hand, refer to the hiring of a worker for a piece of work or a short-term intermittent job that does not exceed six months. The payment is made on either a daily or hourly basis.

COS or JO positions that do not involve special or technical skills, where the work is clerical or administrative, or where the work is already performed by regular agency personnel may only be entered into when the agency must do so and it is not feasible to hire personnel under a casual or contractual appointment.

In both COS and JO arrangements, there is no employer-employee relationship between the hiring agency and the persons hired.

Organizational structure required

Mandaue City Treasurer and local school board member Regal Oliva demanded that the DepEd-SDO propose an organizational structure to study and understand the rationale behind the request to hire more city-based school AOs.

On Jan. 26, Education Secretary and Vice President Sara Duterte signed a policy called DepEd Order 002, s. 2024, titled “Immediate Removal of Administrative Tasks of Public School Teachers.”

The policy aims to remove the administrative responsibilities of public school teachers and bring them back to the classrooms.

During her second Basic Education Report on Jan. 25, Duterte emphasized the importance of this policy and announced the enlistment of 5,000 administrative staff in 2023 and an additional 5,000 in 2024 to ensure its success.

Schools will also receive extra funds for Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses to facilitate the hiring of essential administrative support personnel. / HIC

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