Education workers’ organizations have called on the Department of Education (DepEd) to articulate concrete plans for reducing the administrative tasks currently shouldered by classroom teachers. This persistent issue has been repeatedly mentioned, but until now, there has been no explicit mechanism identified for its implementation.
Vladimer Quetua, Chairperson of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT), stressed the recurring lack of clarity in resolving this long-standing issue. “Plans that will alleviate the administrative burden of our teachers have been discussed time and time again, but there is still no clear path forward,” said Quetua.
A key concern raised by the group is the dearth of education support personnel within schools. “We still don’t see enough education support personnel in schools,” Quetua added. The lack of support staff, they argue, contributes significantly to the overburdening of teachers with administrative tasks, leaving them less time for their primary responsibilities – lesson planning, teaching, and student engagement.
Last week, DepEd Undersecretary and Spokesperson Michael Poa announced that guidelines aimed at reducing teachers’ administrative tasks would be released in a few weeks. However, the announcement did not reveal specific details about what these guidelines will entail, prompting skepticism among education workers.
As the education sector awaits these guidelines, the ACT and other teacher groups continue to advocate for a significant reduction in administrative tasks for teachers, arguing that they would lead to an improvement in the quality of education. The teachers contend that this reduction would allow them more time to focus on developing effective lesson plans, engaging with students, and performing other essential academic tasks.
Furthermore, these groups are urging DepEd to hire more education support personnel to assist with administrative tasks. They argue that this step is critical not only in reducing the workload of teachers but also in enhancing the overall functioning of schools.
The consistent call for action from these groups underscores the need for a well-defined strategy from DepEd. The teaching community and educational advocates will be looking forward to these promised guidelines, hoping that they will represent a real commitment from DepEd to lighten the administrative burden of teachers.
The outcome of this debate will have significant implications for the education sector and the quality of teaching in the country. It is now up to the Department of Education to ‘walk the talk’ and deliver on their promises.