SENATOR Imee Marcos said more than a year of joblessness awaits this year’s education graduates who cannot take the licensure examinations for professional teachers (LEPT) until 2023 due to pandemic restrictions.
Speaking out on World Teachers’ Day, Marcos called it “utterly inexcusable” that the Civil Service Commission (CSC) has not yet shifted from an in-person to an online mode of conducting the LEPT after a year and a half into the pandemic.
Marcos, who will defend the CSC’s 2022 budget before the Senate, cited that some 200,000 government posts including those for public school teachers remain unfilled, adding that an online LEPT would make more applicants eligible for jobs in government-run educational institutions.
“We are delaying job creation and may even be causing a shortage of teachers. The solution is to fully digitize the LEPT to make it pandemic-proof now and in the future,” Marcos said.
“The Career Executive Service Board (CESB) and other professional regulatory boards have succeeded in conducting online exams. Surely, the CSC can modify those templates for the LEPT,” Marcos asserted.
“Let’s not impair our capacity to provide crucial government services, specially in education and public health, during this ongoing crisis,” Marcos added.
Education graduates last year make up most of the 170,000 registered examinees that have been grouped in four smaller batches to observe physical distancing while taking the LEPT.
Last September’s exam was the only one scheduled for this year but will be followed thereafter by exams in January, March, and June of 2022.
However, the registration deadline is over for the exams scheduled next year, so 2021 education graduates as well as previous degree holders who did not sign up will have to wait for their turn in 2023, unless an online LEPT is put in place sooner.