DAVAO CITY— A teachers’ group said the government should not only hire more teachers but also address the shortage of classrooms and congested public schools.
“We have long demanded for the mass hiring of public school teachers to offset the shortages. As such, this government has to catch up with building more classrooms too,” Elenito Escalante, president of Alliance of Concern Teacher (ACT) in Davao region, told Davao Today in an interview Sunday, September 18.
The Department of Education plans to hire 53,831 teachers for basic education in 2017.
Escalante said they hope that the Department of Education’s move would hit the ideal classroom to student ratio of one classroom to 40 students in all public schools across the country.
“This is also in relation to our call to regulate the class size of 40 students per class based on the international standards,” he said.
ACT’s statement came as DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones announced Friday that of the P567.56 billion proposed budget for DepEd for 2017, P15.5 billion will be allotted to hire more teachers.
DepEd hired 195,302 teachers between 2010 and 2016.
The demand for senior high school teachers, specifically, for Science and Math subjects, are still high.
“We have a challenge in hiring Math and Science teachers. . . [We need] a huge army of teachers, we’ll recruit more,” Briones said.
DepEd plans to allot P65.4 billion for the construction of 47,492 classrooms; P43.9 billion for the building of 17,562 laboratories; P7.3 billion for the provision of 7,260 TechVoc tools and equipment packages; and P6.9 billion for 30,697 ICT packages.
Meanwhile, Escalante said that their group is lobbying to the Davao City government the following concerns:
1. Granting of allowance amounting to P1,500 per month for all public school teachers in Davao City which will be sourced to the Special Education Fund.
2. The hiring of a physician to be assigned at the DepEd Davao City Division to serve more than 8,000 personnel of the education department.
3. The pullout of military troops in areas located near public schools such as the case of Tugbok Central Elementary School. (davaotoday.com)