MANILA – Senator Sherwin Gatchalian has proposed the allocation of PHP1.9 billion for the hiring of thousands of non-teaching personnel to help decongest the workload of teachers and enable them to focus on improving the quality of their teaching.

Gatchalian made this proposal after learning that no fund was allocated for the hiring of non-teaching personnel under the Department of Education’s (DepEd) proposed 2024 national budget.

“We recommended an allocation of PHP1.9 billion, I know it’s a substantial amount to hire 5,000 administrative officers and 3,000 project development officers to help our teachers unload their administrative responsibilities. This is one of the low-hanging fruits in terms of improving efficiency in our classrooms,” Gatchalian said during the plenary debates on DepEd budget on Monday.

Gatchalian, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, cited how the congestion of teachers’ workload has affected the quality of teaching in public schools.

The Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) pointed out in 2019 that actual teaching is sidelined by other administrative and student support roles of teachers, which include their participation in programs like mass immunizations, deworming and elections, among others.

In 2022, Gatchalian urged the DepEd to study the recommendation of the PIDS to conduct evidence-based studies on teacher workload, which will rationalize the job functions of public school teachers, allow them to balance their workload and allocate more of their time to improve learner outcomes.

This is one of Gatchalian’s recommendations when he presented the findings of an oversight review on the implementation of the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers (Republic Act No. 4670).

Gatchalian also plans to file amendments to the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers and make it more responsive to teachers’ present challenges and needs. (PNA)


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