Teachers’ Christmas wish: Scrap extra paperwork | Inquirer News

Teachers’ Christmas wish: Scrap extra paperwork

/ 05:38 AM December 27, 2023

EXTRA TASKS One of the first concerns raised at Edcom 2 is the heavy multitasking required of public school teachers. Based on initial findings, teachers today can have as many as 50 extra tasks outside their primary role.

Based on initial findings, teachers today can have as many as 50 extra tasks outside their primary role. —INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

This Christmas season, a group of public school teachers has 12 wishes for the education sector—on top of which is the scrapping of extra paperwork that adds to the members’ burdens.

But the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) will have to wait until Dec. 31 to see if this wish will be granted by the Department of Education (DepEd), which has promised to release guidelines for the removal of teachers’ ancillary tasks by year’s end.


In a statement, ACT said it hoped that the Results-based Performance Management System (RPMS) and Individual Performance Commitment and Review Form (IPCRF) would be removed from their responsibilities so they could focus on teaching tasks.


In 2012, the Civil Service Commission issued Memorandum Circular No. 6 that laid down the guidelines for the establishment and implementation of the Strategic Performance Management System (SPMS) in all government agencies.

It was intended to measure the performance of employees in relation to the target milestones of the government organization.

In 2015, under former Education Secretary Armin Luistro, DepEd adopted the SPMS, now called the RPMS.

According to Ruby Bernardo, president of ACT’s Metro Manila chapter, the RPMS measures the effectiveness of government employees in an entire year, based on a number of outputs.

The RPMS was also the basis of their Performance-Based Bonus every year, she told the Inquirer on Tuesday.

“At the DepEd, they used the Philippine Professional Standard for Teachers [in implementing the RPMS] and the tool was the IPCRF,” Bernardo said.


Class observations

She explained that the IPCRF stipulated that in a year, a teacher serving for three years and above should accomplish four class observations by the head teacher in high school and master teacher in elementary.

“If you are a new teacher and you haven’t reached three years yet, it’s eight [class observations],” Bernardo said.

Based on DepEd Memorandum No. 8, s. 2023, for school year 2022-2023, only two classroom observations were required while in the succeeding school years, including the current 2023-2024 and the next one, up to four classroom observations would be held, once every quarter.

However, Bernardo pointed out that sometimes, classroom observations are being done only for “the sake of compliance with RPMS and to prove that you’re a great teacher.”

It’s difficult for the teachers, she said, because aside from accomplishing the IPCRF, they also need to submit portfolios where they attach their outputs or proof that they did their job.

For example, teachers would need to attach in the document “the efforts we did for students who dropped out,” test papers they created, and even copies of class records.

2 to 3 weeks to finish

“What’s the point of this?” Bernardo said.

“If it is quantity-based, output-based, it is not fit for education because it should not count how many [outputs] you produce. Because [for us], education is service-oriented,” she added.

The portfolio, submitted at the end of the school year, takes about two to three weeks to accomplish, according to Bernardo.

Before the school year started, she said some teachers were required to go to school to process their IPCRF and comply with the requirements.

Implementation of the paperwork varies, she noted, adding that in the provinces, some portfolios could reach hundreds of pages.

“In fact… in the earlier implementation, we needed to put it inside cardboard boxes since we also attached the visual aids used during the class observations,” Bernardo said.

It would be a great Christmas gift from DepEd if it would finally release the guidelines on the removal of the administrative task, she said.

Based on the department’s accomplishment video report on Dec. 20, DepEd is trying to release the policy before the year ends.

“The DepEd has also started hiring administrative personnel who will be tasked to do the administrative tasks in our schools,” the agency said.

Other wishes

But for ACT, which has been asking for clear guidelines on the matter since last year, “the only thing that is clear for teachers is that our workload has not been eased.”

“What the DepEd is talking about is surface level until there are clear guidelines because if you ask the teachers, the work has even become heavier this school year,” Bernardo said.

ACT said its other Christmas wishes are: salary increase, provision of overtime pay, reforms in the Government Service Insurance System, return of the school calendar to June, provision for sick leaves, removal of the 15-day service credit limit, and a law that would allow optional retirement at the age of 56.

ACT also appealed for the grant of P10,000 in teaching supplies allowance and the complete provision of the Service Recognition Incentive.

The group also expressed the wish that the government would hold accountable officials who are Red-tagging progressive teachers or branding them as communists, and that they would have an education secretary with “real experience in the education sector.”

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TAGS: Christmas, Education, teacher

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