By Lilybeth G. Ison
MANILA, March 5 (PNA) — To solve the teacher-supply gap, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) released some P9.5-billion to fund the hiring of some 31,335 elementary and secondary teachers.
Charged against the Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund (MPBF) in the 2014 General Appropriations Act (GAA), DBM Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad said the release will cover the fund requirements for Teacher I positions nationwide.
The fund release also gives the Department of Education (DepEd) the go signal for jump-starting the hiring process immediately, with all positions ideally filled out by April 1, 2014, in time for the beginning of classes, he noted.
Here are the number of required teachers per region: Region 1 – 1,029; Region 2 – 727; Region 3 – 3,754; Region 4A – 4,809; Region 4B – 1,318; Region 5 – 2,383; Region 6 – 1,494; Region 7 – 3,425; Region 8 – 1,658; Region 9 – 1,137; Region 10 – 1,175; Region 11 – 1,565; Region 12 – 1,496; Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) – 1,143; National Capital Region (NCR) – 2,018; CARAGA (Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur and Dinagat Islands) – 443; and Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) – 1,761.
Of the 31,335 positions, some 13,738 new teachers will be hired at the elementary level (Grades 1 to 6), while 17,597 personnel are designated at the secondary level (Grades 7 and 8, Year 3 and 4).
“Hiring more teachers is essential to the administration’s goal of improving the teacher-to-student ratio in our education system,” said Abad.
“For a long time, Philippine public schools were crippled by a shortage of teachers who can amply guide our school children in their academic pursuits,” he added.
The DBM chief said the P9.52-billion release will give DepEd enough funding legroom to close the 33,194-teacher gap in public schools by 2015.
“It’s not just a matter of enhancing our public education system, but also of giving our students the chance to learn from qualified instructors who can equip them with skills that will be useful beyond the classroom,” he noted.
DepEd has set standards to determine teacher requirements for different levels of education, such as setting the teacher-pupil ratio of one teacher for an ideal number of students per class.
For Kindergarten, the ratio is one teacher per 25-35 students, while the Elementary Multigrade (different levels in one classroom), the ratio is one teacher for less than 30 students (Grades 1-2, 3-4, and 5-6).
On the other hand, the ratio for the Elementary Monograde (one level per classroom) is one teacher for 40-50 students for Grades 1-2; one teacher for 45-55 students for Grades 3-4; one teacher for 45-55 students for Grades 5-8; and one teacher for 45-55 students for Secondary Level Years 3-4.
“Education continues to be the government’s best bet in empowering the poor and opening up opportunities for their future employment,” said Abad.
Along with the implementation of the extended Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) this year, he said, the administration’s work of addressing the country’s public education gaps “remains key in our bid for swift, sustainable, and inclusive growth, where Filipinos can truly benefit from the country’s economic gains.” (PNA)