Public school teachers exempted from admin tasks

Public school teachers exempted from admin tasks
File photo by Jean Nicole Cortes of SunStar Baguio

PUBLIC school teachers are no longer required to handle administrative tasks, as the education department has mandated a halt to additional responsibilities, prioritizing teaching over administrative duties.

Director Salustiano Jimenez of Department of Education in Central Visayas (DepEd 7) said this aims to enable teachers to dedicate more time to actual classroom instruction, which is beneficial to both teachers and learners.

Administrative tasks removed from teachers include personnel administration, property/physical facilities custodianship, general administrative support, financial management, records management, feeding, school disaster risk reduction and management, and other related programs.

Public school teachers often participate in activities related to different government programs, going beyond their main job of teaching. For instance, they may help out with tasks like providing services during elections.

Jimenez said that as part of the transitory provision, the policy mandates schools division offices to swiftly implement clustering strategies and deploy administrative support personnel to clustered schools. There are 20 schools division in Central Visayas.

Additionally, current administrative responsibilities will be immediately transferred from teachers to school heads and non-teaching personnel, with the recruitment of administrative support staff to be completed within 60 days.

"Within the 60 days, we will transition, the teachers will still have these administrative tasks, we will just gradually take it from them," he told SunStar Cebu on Thursday, February 1, 2024.

He admitted that they are still finalizing the implementation of the order as the current school year is already in its third quarter, and that there will be a great adjustment if it will be implemented fully.

Great help

Jimenez said this development will really help the teachers so that they will not be deluded on some tasks and they will focus and concentrate only on the delivery of instructions to students.

"They will focus on giving quality education to our learners," he said.

At present, there are around two million students enrolled in Central Visayas, according to Jimenez during his State of the Region Address on January 31, 2024.

In a media interview that was shared on the ACT Philippines Facebook page, Vladimir Quetua, the group's national chairperson, said that prior implementing the program, there should have been additional non-teaching personnel hired already.

Teachers worry who will do the administrative tasks after the new DepEd policy was signed, Quetua said in Filipino. "It is like a magical word, that all of a sudden our administrative tasks will be gone."

He added that DepEd should also look into prioritizing their call, which is to implement salary increase and add more benefits for the teachers.

Hiring non-teaching

Jimenez said their main focus will now be on hiring non-teaching personnel even under job order and contract of service who will handle the administrative tasks that will be given up by the teachers from their load.

Education Secretary and Vice President Sara Duterte-Carpio signed a policy last January 26, officially removing the administrative tasks of public school teachers policy through the DepEd Order 002, s. 2024, titled “Immediate Removal of Administrative Tasks of Public School Teachers.”

She first talked about it during her second Basic Education Report (Ber) on January 25.

During her Ber, Duterte underscored the importance of "Let's bring our teachers back to the classrooms." To guarantee the success of this policy, she declared the enlistment of 5,000 administrative staff in 2023 and an additional 5,000 in 2024.

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

According to an August 2023 SunStar report, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has given the green light for the establishment of 5,000 non-teaching roles within DepEd schools nationwide. The aim is to furnish sufficient manpower and assistance to educators in delivering high-quality instruction to learners.

The DBM has specified that out of these positions, 3,500 will be designated as Administrative Officer (AO) II roles, strategically designed to alleviate teachers of administrative responsibilities that support overall operations.

The remaining 1,500 positions will be Project Development Officer (PDO) I roles. These individuals will collaborate with AO II and other non-teaching staff in schools to facilitate the execution of various programs, projects, and activities initiated by schools or mandated by the DepEd Central Office.

AO II and PDO I positions are entitled to a basic salary of P27,000.

Jimenez in the earlier report said that out of the total, 500 non-teaching positions would be allocated among the 20 schools division offices in Central Visayas.

He also noted that their current workforce includes approximately 6,000 non-teaching staff members in public schools throughout the region. Central Visayas is home to approximately 3,826 public schools.

A study conducted in 2019 by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (Pids) cautioned against overloading teachers with administrative tasks, highlighting the potential distraction from their primary role as educators.

The Pids report pointed out that private schools often have administrative staff, providing support that is lacking for public school teachers. According to the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers, educators are required to spend up to six hours each day on actual teaching.

Teachers are also assigned administrative or student support duties, involving tasks such as paperwork for seminars and training workshops, as well as responsibilities related to student guidance, budgeting, disaster response, and health.

"Teachers are likewise expected to participate in the implementation of various government programs, such as mass immunizations, community mapping, conditional cash transfer, deworming, feeding, population census, antidrug, and election," it said. (KJF)


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