Congress, DepEd urged to create fair promotion system for teachers

March 20, 2023 Arlene Rivera 136 views

A TEACHERS’ group has urged Congress and the Department of Education (DepEd) to formulate policies that would ensure a fair and just merit and promotion system amid the House Committee on Basic Education hearing on the proposed Career Progression System for public teachers on Monday, March 20.

According to Benjo Basas, the National Chairperson of the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC), the DepEds promotion system should be made responsive to the needs of teachers and the education sector.

“Sabi po ng ating Saligang Batang dapat ang propesyon ng pagtuturo ay maging kaaya-aya sa mga pinakamahuhusay na guro at panatilihin silang masaya, masipag, kuntento at dedikado sa kanilang napiling bokasyon. Kaya dapat na mabigyan ng tamang kompensasyon, mga benepisyo at pagpapahalaga ang ating mga guro,” Basas said.

Some of the reasons for such, Basas said, are low pay and inadequate benefits, as well as heavy workloads and the unjustified clerical tasks that rob teachers of quality time.

“Ganito na nga ang kalagayan ay tila napakailap pa ng promosyon kay teacher. Limitado ang items gaya ng master teacher at head teacher. Kadalasan din ang sukatan ng promosyon ng mga guro ay ang naipasa niyang papel o report, diploma o post graduate studies units at hindi kung paano, saan at gaano ba siya katagal na nagturo, Basas continued.

According to the group, proper rewards and recognition are not given to teachers who patiently teach in remote areas or in last-mile schools, where teachers are most needed. They are also those who have no chance to be promoted because they have limited or no access to graduate schools.

This is the reason why TDC supports the Career Progression Policy that now has two versions, the DepEd version in accordance with former President Rodrigo Duterte’s EO (Executive Order) 174 and the version of the legislature that is now being heard in the House Basic Education Committee. The said policies seek to expand the positions of public school teachers.

However, TDC joins the sentiment of the National Head Teachers Association of the Philippines (NaHTAP) that the Head Teacher position should not be removed because of their important roles and functions in public schools.

Both DepEd and House proposals state that new items will no longer be created when natural vacancies occur among incumbents.

In particular, the TDC hopes to implement the gradual progression of teachers’ salaries through regular increments which are mandated by the Magna Carta for Teachers, free post-graduate studies for teachers, removal of the limit on the number of Master Teachers to give an opportunity to all the qualified teachers.

The group also said that policies must prioritize the length of experience of teachers, especially those assigned in far-flung areas in promotions, maintain and increase the position and salary of those in the supervisory track, especially the Head Teachers, and replace the cumbersome and complicated Results-Based Performance Management System (RPMS) with the previous Performance Appraisal System for Teachers (PAST).