Teachers groups are urging the Department of Education to review its policies and address the increasing workload of teachers that could lead to health issues.
The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) and the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) cited that the added workload on “clerical tasks” of teachers could cause exhaustion.
The groups have cited that one of the reasons teachers are exhausted is the dwindling number of non-teaching staff in public schools.
Due to this, teachers have been tasked to do the jobs of a librarian, custodian, registrar, clerk, nurse, security guard and even janitor. Add to that, more burden has been added by the DepEd Order No. 42, s. 2016. This new guideline requires the teachers to prepare a more detailed lesson plan each day for the K-12 Basic Education Program.
TDC shared that the more detailed lesson plan is only adding harm. Teachers spend the night preparing the lesson plans and lack rest. This can take the tool on the most important part of teaching- classroom instruction.
ACT cited that the government should recognize the human rights of teachers and should be entitled with the basic labor rights.
In addition to the clerical responsibilities and daily lesson plans, teachers are also required to attend seminars, conduct researches and other assignments while also assigned in feeding programs, canteens, community linkages and other ancillary services.
TDC and ACT have also cited that too much workload can be attributed to depression and even suicide.
There have already been two incidents of suicides that could be related to the pressure and teaching workloads, especially that the newly hired teachers are required to prepare 24 lesson plans daily just to comply with the new memorandum.
The teacher groups even reminded the government that public teachers are even underpaid despite the daily exhaustion. They insisted that teachers should be justly compensated a substantial salary increase and benefits.