Group hits 'inhumane' workload public school teachers bear | Inquirer News

Group hits ‘inhumane’ workload public school teachers bear

/ 06:40 PM September 28, 2022
A group hits the "inhumane" workload of public school teachers in the country

Alliance of Concerned Teachers photo

MANILA, Philippines — The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) has raised concerns about the heavy workload of public school teachers and asked the government to give them more time to prepare lessons, check the output, compute grades, and monitor the progress of students.

According to ACT spokesperson Ruby Bernardo, teachers in public schools need a lower workload than their counterparts at state colleges and universities or private schools and schools in other countries.

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“Non-stop teaching for six hours daily is simply inhumane. It is equivalent to 6 to 9 classes handled daily for 40 minutes to one hour class time, depending on the subject taught,” Bernardo said in a statement.

“Dapat i-konsidera rin na ang mga klaseng ito ay bumibilang mula 45 hanggang 60 estudyante o higit pa. Sobrang piga na sa pagod ang ating mga guro pagkatapos ng maghapon na pagtuturo, at ang nalalabing dalawang oras ng trabaho sa isang araw ay napupunta pa paggawa ng mga reports at non-teaching duties,” she also pointed out.

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(Classes have 45 to 60 students. After a day of teaching, our teachers are fatigued, and the remaining two hours are spent on reports and other tasks.)

READ: Filipino teachers migrating abroad amid low pay, says ACT

Bernardo further expressed disappointment that, “In reality, lesson preparation, checking of outputs, and grade computation are brought home and done beyond work hours without proper compensation, while this should not be the case as these are essential duties of a teacher.

“At the end of the day, it is our teachers’ physical and mental well-being which is sacrificed,” she added.

The Department of Education (DepEd) has maxed up the potential of public school teachers, according to Bernardo, moreover lamenting that: “Katumbas po ito ng 30 oras ng pagtuturo sa loob ng isang linggo, kung kaya sobra na ang pagod at paos ng ating mga guro sa isang buwan pa lamang na pagtuturo. Labis-labis po ang trabahong ito kumpara sa trabaho ng mga guro sa private schools, state colleges and universities at maging mga paaralan sa ibang bansa,” Bernardo said.

(This is equivalent to 30 hours of teaching in one week, so our teachers are already too tired after just one month of teaching. Moreover, this workload is too much compared with the work of teachers in private schools, state colleges and universities, and even schools in other countries.)

She cited the 10 to 12 hours weekly teaching a load of instructors at Xavier High School, the University of Santo Tomas Senior High School, and De La Salle Zobel High School, and the additional 10 to 12 hours reserved for their meetings, seminars, and consultations.

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Faculty members at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines have a typical teaching load of 15 hours per week; at the University of the Philippines, it is 12 hours, she said.

Bernardo claimed primary education teachers work fewer hours per week in other countries. Specifically, she noted that instructors in Japan and Australia teach 22 to 24 hours a week; in Vietnam, 13 hours; in Cambodia, 25 hours; and in Indonesia, 18 hours a week.

Bernardo also said that the 1967 Magna Carta for Public School Teachers is not helping at all as it is only allegedly being used to “make it appear” that there are more than enough teachers when in reality, it only “squeeze (teachers) to the hilt.”

READ: Teachers now joining diaspora of Filipinos seeking greener pasture

The Magna Carta for Public School Teachers or Republic Act No. 4670 provides that teaching hours shall not exceed more than six hours a day.

“Instead of easing our workload, the DepEd is wielding the Magna Carta to squeeze us to the hilt. Instead of recognizing the 6-hour rule as the maximum limit, they have deemed it the teachers’ regular load. It is their way to make it appear that there are excess teachers in some schools that they can transfer to others wherein shortage is really flagrant,” Bernardo said.

To revise the 55-year-old Magna Carta for Public School Teachers, the ACT Teachers Party-list filed House Bill No. 545 in the 19th Congress, in a bid to reduce public school educators’ teaching time to four hours daily.

“Overworking our teachers is counterproductive to education recovery. We need less teaching and non-teaching load. We need more time to prepare our lessons and fulfill other teaching-related duties to be able to deliver quality teaching,” Bernardo said.

“We need our rightful time to rest. If we want the quality of teaching to improve, we need to reduce to four hours the daily time allotment for actual teaching, while the other four hours should be used for lesson preparations and other teaching-related duties,” she also said. — Kristelle Razon, trainee

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TAGS: ACT, Education, Teachers
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