MANILA, Philippines -- Public school teachers will now have six hours of teaching and two hours for other education-related activities, Secretary Jesli Lapus announced Monday.
Lapus made the announcement as contained in Memorandum 291, which provides guidelines for enforcing the new order ?effective immediately.?
When pressed by reporters, Lapus said this could be implemented starting Tuesday.
Lapus formally handed over the memorandum, which he signed Thursday, to the Teacher?s Dignity Coalition (TDC) outside the building of the Department of Education (DepEd) main office in Pasig City.
The DepEd finalized the proposed guidelines after consultations with school principals and public school teachers, he said.
Lapus said that the guidelines were in accordance with Section 13 of Republic Act 4670 (Magna Carta for Public School Teachers) and would give ?flesh? to the Civil Service Commission ruling on the six-hour actual classroom teaching instead of the original eight.
Public school teachers were required previously to render more than six hours of classroom teaching provided they would be given additional compensation.
Lapus said that teachers would still be required to have regular eight-hour workdays, with the remaining two hours to be used for other ?teacher-related activities and duties? like preparing lesson plans and instruction materials.
However, unlike before when teachers had to spend the full eight hours in school, they could now opt to leave the campus after rendering six-hours of actual classroom teaching. Lapus said teachers have the choice to accomplish the remaining two hours of their work elsewhere.
He added that teachers would be paid overtime if they would perform the extra hours of work within the school premises.
Meanwhile, TDC National chairman Benjo Basas said they were originally demanding for a four-hour teaching load, which was not granted. Nevertheless, Basas said that they were satisfied with the new policy.
He also thanked Lapus for ?the big step? in advancing the rights and welfare of teachers which they had been fighting for for over four decades.
Lapus said he expected ?better quality education? now that the six-hour actual teaching would be implemented.
?The move of the DepEd and the CSC will allow our public school teachers to have more time to innovate and enhance classroom teaching,? Lapus said.
Lapus added that they would still review the guidelines and ?fine-tune? specific details.