DepEd to absorb 50,000 locally hired teachers | Inquirer News

DepEd to absorb 50,000 locally hired teachers

/ 12:20 AM February 24, 2015

BAGUIO CITY—All teachers hired by local governments will be included in the national government’s payroll under the Department of Education (DepEd) by June to ensure that they get the same pay as DepEd employees, Education Secretary Armin Luistro said here on Saturday.

Consolidating the DepEd’s work force is a necessary step to serving over 27 million students under a reformed basic education program, Luistro said in a press conference at Teachers’ Camp here.

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The absorption of 50,000 teachers hired by local school boards would increase the country’s teaching pool to as much as 750,000, among them 8,000 college instructors who may be inclined to serve the new senior high school program.

The senior high school program extends the country’s 10-year basic education to a 12-year program, under Republic Act No. 10533 (K-to-12 Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013), which was timed with the economic integration of all Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries by the end of the year, Luistro said.

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It serves as a transition for students who may enroll in any of four career tracts of specialization, according to DepEd. Senior high schools offer an academic tract, a sports tract, an arts and design tract, and a tract devoted to technical, vocational and livelihood courses.

“Year after year, we would have more than 1.5 million senior high school students who will graduate with technical skills,” Luistro said, whose skills certification would soon be accepted in many Asean countries.

The government is drafting a national qualifications framework to enable its graduates and professionals to be accredited in Asean countries.

Accreditation of their educational background affords them the chance to work in those countries, Luistro said.

Before the passage of the K-to-12 law in 2013, the Philippines was the only Asean country with a 10-year basic education program, he said.

Local school boards have been hiring their own teachers, paid for by a local government’s special education fund (SEF), to augment the local teaching manpower.

“But this practice spawned a problem because some [towns] were able to pay their teachers only as much as P4,000 a month. The pay scale in the provinces was not uniform. Sometimes we encounter local governments who enforce a different employee ranking system… so we decided to absorb these teachers instead,” Luistro said.

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Unlike other agencies, the DepEd was not required to devolve its teaching personnel and responsibilities as prescribed by RA 7160 (Local Government Code of 1991).

“This year, these local school-board teachers, including kindergarten [volunteer teachers] who qualify, are going to be national government employees,” Luistro said.

“We started with 550,000 DepEd teachers. This year, we would employ 700,000 members of nonteaching and teaching staff, including those we absorb to teach senior high school,” he added.

“We have asked local governments to stop hiring new teachers because the DepEd budget has made room for provincial teachers. [Local governments should] use the SEF instead to build dormitories for senior high school pupils, whose [houses] are too far from school,” Luistro said.

In early cases, the local school-board teachers still apply for a job at DepEd, making local school boards part of a “two-step” hiring process.

The increased payroll budget this year, Luistro said, is “the right investment” for an improved basic education system. Vincent Cabreza, Inquirer Northern Luzon

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