40,000 new teachers to work in public schools this June
MANILA — The Department of Education (DepEd) is expanding its roster of public school teachers by 40,000 when classes open next month.
At a press briefing, Education Undersecretary Jesus Mateo said the figure was out of the 53,831 teacher items from kinder to Grade 12 that the DepEd was allowed to create for the new school year. He cited the big demand for public school teachers due to the K-12 program.
“Currently, our division offices are conducting the selection process so by the time classes start in June, the 40,000 new hires have already undergone the Teacher Induction Program, and they are ready to teach,” Mateo told reporters.
The major bulk of the new hires would teach in senior high school (SHS) to catch up with the growing number of students enrolled in the program, said the DepEd official.
Mateo said the DepEd has been expecting some 25 million elementary and high school students to return to schools in June.
Aside from the entry of the second batch for senior high school this coming school year, at least 1.5 million students who enlisted for Grade 11 in 2016 are expected to move on to Grade 12.
But Mateo said the number of Grade 12 enrollees might slightly decrease due to several factors. “Some may not pass Grade 11,” he pointed out.
Education Secretary Leonor Briones also emphasized the need for Math and Science teachers. Earlier, the DepEd chief admitted that the agency was facing a challenge hiring teachers in the two fields. “We need a huge army of teachers. We will recruit more,” she stated.
Out of the more than 53,000 teacher vacancies to be filled this year, 33,000 are for the SHS program and 20,000 for kinder and junior high school.
“We also have to recruit 13,000 non-teaching staff and build 47,000 classrooms. We are really catching up to fulfill these needs but we cannot guarantee that these will all be achieved at once but we are closely monitoring,” said Briones.
She said the agency would present a report by next week on its state of readiness for the opening of classes on June 5.
“We will tell you the truth—how many classrooms are available, how many teachers have been added and how we are going to deal with the situation, so that there will be no confusion among the public,” she said. SFM
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