Fears of massive layoffs due to K-12 allayed
The Department of Education (DepEd) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) are allaying the fears of massive displacement and joblessness among college professors once the senior high school component of the K-12 program comes into full force in the next two years.
CHEd Commissioner Cynthia Bautista said the DepEd, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the CHEd itself have standby assistance packages for the estimated 25,090 teaching and nonteaching staff from colleges and universities who will be displaced by the inauguration of senior high schools.
Enrollment in colleges and universities are expected to drop in 2016 and 2017, as those who finish junior high school will go on to take two years of senior high school before choosing whether to go to college or not. This will mean many teachers in higher education institutions will end up with no teaching loads.
“One option for those who will be displaced is to be absorbed by senior high schools,” Bautista said. “The DepEd will need at least 30,000 new teachers and 6,000 new nonteaching staff for the thousands of senior high schools it will open next year.”
She added that DepEd has committed to establishing a “Green Lane,” which will prioritize and fast-track the hiring of displaced personnel from colleges and universities, matching them to teaching positions in terms of location and salary.
“The only problem we see here is convincing them to jump from college to senior high school, but we believe that in time, this will change,” Bautista said.
Meanwhile, the DOLE has committed to offer income support, employment facilitation, and training and livelihood programs for teaching and nonteaching staff who fail to get employment.
As for CHEd, Bautista said that the agency will offer “development grants” to retained teaching and nonteaching staff in colleges and universities, so that they can upgrade their qualifications by taking graduate studies and other professional improvement schemes.
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