Trash non-teaching tasks

December 08, 2019

Do teachers’ workloads impact on their ability to impart knowledge and efficiency to carry out other academic duties?

Of course, like any other overworked or multi-tasking workers, teachers also go on “low bat” or undergo diminishing capacity to undertake their basic duties over the long haul.

Perhaps, this could partly explain why the country showed a dismal performance in reading, math, and science out of the 79 member and partner countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, according to the results of the PISA 2018.

The country scored lowest in reading comprehension and the second-lowest in science and mathematics assessment conducted by the inter-government group OECD last year.

It registered 340 points in reading, below the average of 487 points of OECD member and partner countries; 353 points in Mathematical Literacy, below the average of 489 points; and 357 points in Science, below the average of 489 points.

The PISA, launched by OECD in 1997, is an international study that surveys its members and partner countries every three years for comparative data on 15-year-old’s performance in reading, mathematics, and science.

Thus, 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, Biñan City Rep. Marlyn Alonte said House Bill 5562, or the "Bawas Non-Teaching Load Act", seeks to provide 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.

"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.’’

The bill proposes new and different sets of basic complements of administrative personnel under the principal/head teacher/teacher-in-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.

But Malacañang insisted that the Department of Education is “on the right track” to improve the quality of basic education in the country.

“Our education officials are on the right track as we address the issues and gaps in the basic education sector,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.