Castro says DepEd’s clustering method ‘not the way to go’
MANILA, Philippines — Designating the same Administrative Officers (AOs) and staff to serve multiple schools, also known as “clustering,” should not be made an option as it would only overwork the AOs, ACT Teachers Party-List Rep. France Castro said on Sunday.
This comes after the Department of Education (DepEd) announced that teachers are set to be relieved of administrative duties to bring them “back to the classrooms,” Education Secretary and Vice President Sara Duterte said.
“School clustering of administrative and/ or education support tasks is not the way to go,” Castro noted in a statement.
What schools should do instead, according to the lawmaker, is to hire more support staff to handle the administrative load that teachers would be relieved from.
“What we need now is to hire more administrative and more education support staff in schools so that these tasks can be removed from teachers but at the same time not overwork the current administrative staff,” she explained.
In the same statement, Castro stressed on the importance of crafting policies “that promote a healthy work-life balance for educators, enabling them to thrive in their profession and provide the best possible education for their students.”
The lawmaker had previously expressed support for the removal of administrative duties from teachers, saying that this will greatly help them to focus on delivering quality education to their students.
In a previous statement by the Second Congressional Commission on Education, it was made known that some public schools fear they may lose AOs due to fear of the heavy workload that may be passed on to them.
This is despite Duterte’s assurance that DepEd will provide additional maintenance and other operating expenses to schools so that they can afford to hire administrative support staff.