DepEd lays out options to address displacement of teachers due to K-12 Basic Education Program Print
Saturday, 05 July 2014 11:25



The Department of Education (DepEd) has laid out options to address the inevitable displacement of many teachers due to the implementation of the K-12 Basic Education Program which includes the new General Education Curriculum (GEC) wherein some subjects being taught in higher education will be moved to senior high school.

In an interview, DepEd Assistant Secretary Jesus Mateo identified the need for around 81,000 teachers for senior high schools while the discussions pertaining to the budget requirement on the impending displacement of teachers are ongoing.

“While we’re formulating the budget requirement for this, we have identified at that point that we are in need of around 81,000 teachers to teach senior high school,” Mateo said, adding that the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) claims that there will be about 86,000 faculty members of private higher education institutions (HEIs) who maybe displaced.

“We can accommodate roughly 98 percent of those 86,000 but depending on the specialization. It seems like we can accommodate them simply because in the K-12 Program, there are several factors such as academic, technical-vocational, arts and crafts, arts and design, and arts and trade,” Mateo noted.

Among the proposed alternative measures to address the displacement issue are the creation of senior high schools in private HEIs where displaced teachers can teach the subjects removed from the tertiary curriculum, and the hiring of teachers by the DepEd to teach existing secondary schools.

“One alternative we’re looking for is that we will allow the private HEIs to offer senior high school because they have space, facilities. So it’s just a matter of them submitting to us a proposal on how they will implement senior high school. If they are allowed to offer senior high school, then the supposed displacement of faculty will no longer exist,” Mateo explained.

The DepEd has clarified though that it is only the option of private HEIs if they would want to create senior high schools and if they think they have the capability to accommodate the students and teachers.

“If they think they can offer senior high school, they have the faculty, facilities and in sync with our curriculum, then they are allowed,” Mateo said.

He added, “Another option for us is since DepEd offers senior high school either to existing secondary schools, then they can also apply and we can also hire.”

The DepEd and CHED are also working out with the Congress the proposed P10-billion “stabilization fund,” a package that would provide financial assistance to those teachers who will not be absorbed, Mateo said.

As to what subjects will be moved following the displacement of teachers, CHED earlier clarified last June 24 that not only Filipino teachers will be dislocated but also teachers of other subjects since other courses related to Math, Science, Arts and the like will also be transferred to the curriculum of senior high schools.

Apart from the aforementioned measures of DepEd, CHED has also been formulating remedies to counter the displacement issue like the grant of research load to deserving faculty, and the offer of tech-voc courses from which they have tapped the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in the endeavor.

“The idea is, especially for those teachers who would like to teach in tech-voc track, TESDA would conduct a training program as a refresher course for the faculty who would like to teach in tech-voc courses,” Mateo shared.

TESDA Secretary and Director General Joel Villanueva said in a separate exclusive interview with PNA that there are 23 TESDA-accredited technical-vocational courses offered to the teachers under a training program should they decide to teach their chosen tech-voc course.

“On our end, we are in full support with DepEd. In fact, we are training not only DepEd teachers but also CHED teachers who would like to teach technical-vocational courses,” Villanueva said, adding that among the courses offered by TESDA are Agriculture and Fisheries, Construction, Electrical Installation, and others.

Meanwhile, a technical working group (TWG) is also tasked by the DepEd to conduct discussions with private HEIs, represented by the Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations (COCOPEA) and Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP), which are the groups they consult as to the particular provisions in Republic Act No. 10533 or the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013.

“What we can assure to the public is that the government, not only pertaining to DepEd, is looking at the possible consequences of the implementation of the K-12 Program. We continue to dialogue, conduct conversation with not only government agencies like TESDA, CHED, DOLE (Department of Labor and Employment), but also with other organizations like COCOPEA and CEAP. The options are a way of addressing some of the valid concerns or anxieties of the people affected or to be affected by the K-12 Program,” Mateo said.