MANILA – The Department of Education (DepEd) is planning to reduce the workload of teachers by removing administrative tasks from their stead and introducing a work-balancing tool they could use.
In a press briefing, DepEd Spokesperson Michael Poa said this tool seeks to assess the working hours of teachers and how efficiently they are being spent.
Poa said the DepEd is determined to hire not only more teachers but also non-teaching personnel to help them, by including a budget allocation for the hiring of 10,000 teachers by 2023.
"'Yun po 'yung nakasaad sa work balancing tool na ila-launch natin (That is indicated in the work balancing tool that will be launched) once approved and completed. Para po makita natin ano 'yung teaching time lang talaga, ano 'yung admin tasks lang talaga, at 'yung admin tasks ay gusto na nating ipasa sa non-teaching personnel or ma-reduce kung kaya namang ma-reduce (So we can see their actual teaching time, their administrative tasks, which we want to be passed on to the non-teaching personnel, to reduce [the teachers’ load] if it could be reduced)," he said.
Poa noted that they are targeting to launch the tool this school year, as part of their “aggressive” move to reduce the teachers’ workload.
"Within the year malalabas po natin 'yan kasi nga po ito'y isang magandang tool para ma-identify muna natin kung ano 'yung ginagawa ng mga teachers natin sa field (We can release it within the year because it is a great tool that could identify the teachers’ tasks on the field) or on the ground," he added.
Besides the target launch, Poa said, the DepEd central office would also implement a reduction of special assignments during events, requiring teachers’ participation, as well as municipal or provincial events initiated by the local government units.
"Na-ta-task 'yung mga teachers natin na sumali sa activities na ito. Hindi na po natin gagawin, babawasan na po natin hanggat makakaya para po (Teachers are tasked to join these activities, but we will no longer do it. We will reduce these activities as much as possible so) the teachers will have more time in the classrooms than outside activities," he said.
In consideration of Executive Order (EO) 3, which makes the use of face masks voluntary in open spaces, Poa said they have yet to coordinate with the Department of Health (DOH) to ensure the prevention of any unnecessary spike in coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases in schools.
“Our learners usually spend their time inside the classrooms, so it’s still mandatory. However, in the latest developments brought about by EO 3, we will coordinate with the DOH. We will consult the DOH because there are times our learners are in open spaces,” he said in mixed English and Filipino.
Poa noted that the result of their consultation would be incorporated into their guidelines, which he said would be issued “very soon.”
"What we want to prevent is a major surge that would fully exhaust our critical care system in the Philippines. So again, we are still enforcing the health standards in our schools," he added.
Besides this, the DepEd will also verify and consolidate data from regional offices to provide actual monitoring of Covid-19 infection among learners nationwide, he said. (PNA)