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DepEd hiring 31,000 new teachers

By May 15, the Department of Education (DepEd) will be filling in more than 31,000 teaching positions set for this school year in time for the opening of classes in the country’s public elementary and secondary schools on June 2.

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In this file photo, teachers are all smiles as they participate in the celebration of World Teachers’ Day at the Ultra in Pasig City on Oct. 5, 2013. The Department of Education hosted the celebration. (KJ Rosales)

“For this year, we are going to create 31,335 teacher items,” said DepEd Assistant Secretary Jesus Mateo during the launch of UNESCO’s Education For All (EFA) Global Monitoring Report (GMR). “Most of our regional offices have already started recruitment and before May 15, these [positions] should be filled in,” he added.

Earlier, Education Secretary Armin Luistro through DepEd Order No. 14 series of 2014, issued the hiring guidelines for Teacher I Positions Effective School Year (SY) 2014-2015.

The issuance of these guidelines, Luistro said, aims to integrate and further institutionalize the primary objective of the K to 12 Basic Education Program “which is to enhance the overall quality of basic education in the country by hiring competent teachers.”

Luistro said these guidelines will also uphold the mandate of DepEd under the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers or Republic ACT No. 4670 which is to “promote and improve public school teachers’ employment and career opportunities as well as to attract more people with proper qualifications to the teaching profession.”

This year, the DepEd will be hiring at least 31,335 elementary and high school teachers following the release of P9.5 billion to fund the hiring of Teacher I positions nationwide as approved by the Department of Budget and Management. Luistro said the hiring system for Teacher I or entry level positions “is also set to provide opportunities for the regularization and absorption of all qualified kindergarten volunteers and LGU-hired teachers into the national plantilla.”

Out of the 31,335 teacher positions to be filled in, a total of 13,738 positions will be available in the elementary level or Grades 1 to 6. Meanwhile, 17,597 positions are vacant for the secondary level or Grades 7 and 8.

DepEd, Luistro said, has been continuously working “to absorb qualified LGU-funded teachers as part of the regular teaching force.” In SY 2013-2014, at least 11,200 newly-hired teachers came from the ranks of the qualified local government-funded or volunteer teachers. At least 37,000 LGU-funded teachers are estimated to have been hired and paid by their respective local governments. DepEd, while it opens its doors to volunteer and LGU-hired teachers, reminded that only those “who are qualified” will be hired.

In 2010, Mateo said the DepEd  committed to address the shortages and challenges in five basic education inputs including teachers, classrooms, textbooks, seats and water sanitation facilities. “We have achieved most of them and we continue to fill in the gaps to help ensure that our students will get the quality of education they deserve,” he added.

Based on the findings of UNESCO’s EFA GMR, there is a need for “governments to step up efforts to recruit an additional 1.6 million teachers to achieve universal primary education by 2015.” The Report suggested to countries such as the Philippines to implement strategies to “provide the best teachers to reach all children with good quality education.”