DepEd scrambles to fill 61,510 teacher vacancies
MANILA, Philippines—Despite a glut of licensed teachers, the Department of Education (DepEd) is finding it hard to fill all 61,510 vacancies in the public schools this year due to a lack of qualified teachers in some areas.
The DepEd’s P293.32-billion budget this year includes an allocation for the hiring of 61,510 new teachers to plug the shortage in public elementary and high schools.
The teachers shall be deployed in time for the new school year on June 3.
While some areas have an oversupply of applicants, other areas outside urban centers do not have enough applicants.
“Some provinces are having a hard time hiring because there are not enough LET (Licensure Examination for Teachers) passers in the area,” said Education Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Alberto Muyot.
Even if the applicants have the requisite LET certification, they may not have the qualifications required by the school, he said.
Muyot said that when the DepEd opened slots for 10,000 kindergarten teachers in 2011 when kindergarten became mandatory, there were not enough licensed teachers who had majored in early childhood education (ECE).
No ECE degree
“The slots were not filled because they did not have (an) ECE (degree),” he said.
Education Secretary Armin Luistro has said the DepEd would only hire kindergarten teachers from among licensed teachers with college degrees in early childhood education, preschool education or family life and child development, or those with education degrees with enough units related to early childhood education.
“Where can we find such (teachers)? Many used to apply, but now the slots can’t be filled,” Muyot said.
This year saw 15,223 new high school teachers out of the 38,433 who took the LET secondary level, 10,310 new elementary teachers out of the 37,117 examinees for the LET elementary level.
The 61,510 new public school teachers to be hired represent only the backlog that should have been hired in the past several years.
According to Muyot, the DepEd needs more than 10,000 new teachers each year to meet the ever-increasing enrollment in the public schools where about two million new students are added annually.
Muyot confirmed that many teachers from private schools are now applying to teach in the public schools because the government offers better compensation.
The starting monthly salary in the public schools is around P19,000 compared to P8,000 to P14,000 in private schools, he said.