Gatchalian urges DepEd to use Php10-B budget to hire new teachers, non-teaching personnel

By , on March 13, 2015

Valenzuela Representative Cong. Sherwin 'Win' Gatchalian (Facebook photo)
Valenzuela Representative Cong. Sherwin ‘Win’ Gatchalian (Facebook photo)

MANILA — Valenzuela Representative Cong. Sherwin ‘Win’ Gatchalian reminded that failure to provide employment to affected private HEI teaching staff numbering more than 36,000 nationwide might result to an exodus of university instructors who are currently in demand in many countries in Asia.

“University professors who will be displaced with the absence of incoming first year college students will likely try to find jobs abroad to match their lost income,” said Gatchalian, who is a majority member for the House committees on basic education and culture and on higher and technical education.

Gatchalian pointed out that with thousands of college instructors going abroad, the problem of brain drain will be further aggravated.

“Losing talented educators who can best contribute to our nation by nurturing the minds and skills of future generations is a big problem. The increased migration of teachers, especially those with incomparable expertise in their respective fields and a significant experience in teaching, presents an irreparable loss to the education sector,” he pointed out.

The veteran solon explained that one way to ensure that those affected by the possible massive layoffs of university professors is to absorb them in public schools needing additional teaching and non-teaching personnel for the implementation of the K to 12 program, particularly in senior high school composed of grades 11 and 12.

“Priority hiring of teaching and non-teaching personnel from private HEIs will also ensure that the possible brain drain caused by the K to 12 program will be minimized,” Gatchalian stressed.

The DepEd is set to hire more teachers using their Php10 Billion budget, creating 39,066 new teaching and 1,500 non-teaching positions, data from the Department of Budget and Management showed.

News reports show that 55,480 teaching staff and 22,838 non-teaching staff may be displaced as the first batch of students enter grade 11 in 2016 and grade 12 in 2017, meaning there will be no college freshmen in those years. There will also be no students in other college levels until the first batch of students graduate from senior high school. Things will only normalize come school year 2021-2022.

Of the more than 55,000 teaching staff who will be potentially displaced.

The following are from private non-sectarian and private sectarian schools:

*3,495 permanent teachers who only teach General Education (GE);

*1,595 permanent teachers who teach some GE;

*7,200 probationary/temporary teachers, and;

*23,950 contractual teachers.

Of the nearly 23,000 non-teaching staff who will be potentially displaced because of the K to 12 Program, 8,553 have permanent positions in private non-sectarian and private sectarian schools, according to reported based on data from the Commission on Higher Education.

Gatchalian also asked DepEd to expedite the processing of permits for private schools to offer senior high school.

CHED Commissioner Cynthia Bautista said that some of the higher education institutions (HEIs) “will offer senior high school plan to employ their permanent faculty.” However, the Department of Education has only given permits to implement senior high school to 236 private schools as of February 18.

Joseph Estrada, legal counsel of the Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations (COCOPEA), said they cannot plan ahead without the assurance that DepEd will green-light their applications. Decisions and investments, following requirements on the inventory of equipment and facilities, list of senior high school faculty and personnel, proof of ownership of land, “are contingent on the permit,” he said.

“The figures reveal that the DepEd has to fix the issue of allowing HEIs to teach senior high school. Time is running out and the DepEd has to act soonest to give affected schools enough time to comply with the requirements,” he emphasized.

A Php29 Billion tertiary education transition fund (TEFT) is currently being proposed in the Congress to financially support affected education employees and workers.