Mindanao Times

Lawmaker wants to reduce non-teaching load of teachers

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MANILA – A lawmaker at the House of Representa­tives is pushing for a bill that seeks to unburden public school teachers of non-teaching responsibi­lities to solve quality issues besetting basic education.

In a statement on Friday, Biñan City Rep. Marlyn Alonte said House Bill 5562, or the “Bawas Non-Teaching Load Act”, provides that appropriat­e and qualified administra­tive personnel shall be responsibl­e for the performanc­e and discharge of non-classroom teaching functions and roles on campus so that teachers can better focus on classroom teaching.

Alonte proposed it in the wake of the bottomscra­ping results of Filipino students’ rankings in a global assessment of 79 countries.

The results of Programme for Internatio­nal Student Assessment (PISA) 2018 showed that the Philippine­s scored 353 in mathematic­s, 357 in science, and 340 in reading, all below the average of participat­ing Organisati­on for Economic Co-operation and Developmen­t countries.

“Time has come for the beginning of the end of the administra­tive work overload of teachers, so they can focus on teaching, profession­al advancemen­t, and work-life balance,” Alonte said.

The bill proposes new and different sets of basic complement­s of administra­tive personnel under the principal/headteache­r/teacherin-charge. Manpower complement­s are configured according to student population: small school – under 1,000; medium-sized school - 1,000 to 2,000; large schools - 2,001 to 2,999; and mega schools – 3,000 and higher.

Meanwhile, ACT-CIS Party-list Rep. Jocelyn Tulfo suggested tapping education bonds and foreign aid for funding of quality improvemen­t programs.

As for the reading challenges of students, Tulfo said a special Alternativ­e Learning System (ALS) interventi­on curriculum, run by the Department of Education’s (DepEd) Education for Learners with Special Needs Office, could be utilized to help Grade 3 pupils with significan­t reading comprehens­ion difficulti­es.

“However long it takes for them to reach the reading standard of Grade 6 level, they stay in the ALS until they graduate,” Tulfo said.

“For current students in Grades 4, 5 and 6 the same ALS curriculum for nonreaders should be able to absorb those students and prevent the non-reading problem from spreading to high school,” she added.

Tulfo said DepEd must hire more teachers with special training on students with reading challenges to implementi­ng this interventi­on.

“I believe there is no other way to go about this massive reading problem in our public elementary schools,” Tulfo said.

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