Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones announced that many teaching items for Science and Math still need to be filled. The demand for more K to 12 educators is still high despite the employment of 195,302 teachers between 2010 and 2016.
“We have a challenge in hiring Math and Science teachers. . . [We need] a huge army of teachers, we’ll recruit more,” Briones recently told the members of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Appropriations during the Department’s presentation of its proposed budget for 2017.
The Education chief also reported that DepEd was able to deter the anticipated massive displacement of teachers following the full implementation of the K to 12 basic education. With the creation of 36,461 teaching items for the senior high school (SHS) program, DepEd already hired 3,950 displaced faculty of higher education institutions (HEIs), 928 of which have availed themselves of the Department’s “Green Lane” for speedy employment.
“We lack teachers. We are not displacing teachers,” Briones disclosed.
DepEd offers above entry-level salary grades to graduates of Science and Technology courses under the Junior Level Science Scholarships (JLSS) of the Department of Science and Technology-Science Education Institute (SEI). As of June 21, 2016, 502 qualified in the scholarship, with 472 scholars availing themselves of the grant.
Per the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act 10612, s. 2014, DepEd is mandated to ensure qualified graduates of the said scholarship with job placement as Special Science Teacher with salary grade level 13. DepEd-hired scholar-graduates will also receive a teacher training program that will enable them to qualify to take the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET).
Graduates of Science, Math, or Engineering course without LET certification, graduates of technical-vocational courses with necessary TESDA certifications, and practitioners with expertise in specialized learning areas offered by the K to 12 program are also encouraged to apply as part-time SHS teachers.
Of the P567.56 billion proposed budget for 2017, P15.5 billion will be allotted to hiring 53,831 teachers. Meanwhile, P65.4 billion will be for the construction of 47,492 classrooms (including 10,000 classrooms for replacement); P43.9 billion will go to building of 17,562 laboratories; P7.3 billion will be for the provision of 7,260 TechVoc tools and equipment packages; P6.9 billion will be appropriated to 30,697 ICT packages (with maintenance and other operating expenses); P4.5 billion will be allotted to the purchase of 8,833 Science and Math equipment packages; P4 billion for hiring 13,266 non-teaching items; P3 billion for 55.8 million learning materials; and P2.5 billion for 51,492 sets of school seats (including 19,000 sets of seats as counterpart to LGU) as part of the additional basic resources to support the needs of the K to 12 curriculum.