Over the years, numerous tweaks and adjustments have been made to (a) lessen the delays in hiring, (b) minimize patronage politics and rent-seeking, and (c) ensure that teachers are prepared for the environment in public schools. Unfortunately, 35,533 teaching and teaching-related positions remain unfilled by the end of 2019.
Hiring and Deployment of Teachers
The last line of defense against the low quality of teachers gaining tenure in public schools is the hiring system of DepEd, which is the biggest employer of teacher-graduates nationwide. The number of teachers hired almost doubled in the period 2000-2020. Over these 20 years, the teaching force grew by an average of 3.47% annually, representing 20,764 new hires. The most significant increases in new teacher items came in 2013 and 2017, after introducing Kindergarten in 2012 and Senior High School in 2016. As a result, DepEd reported a Teacher-Learner ratio for 2020 of 1:28 in Elementary, 1:25 in Junior High School, and 1:29 in Senior High School.
Table 1: Unfilled Positions in DepEd by Regions, School Year 2019-2020
While DepEd can secure key plantilla positions yearly, there are still few non-teaching personnel in schools. Teachers and other DepEd employees often are required to perform ancillary tasks assigned by higher authorities. These range from light tasks (e.g., Phil-IRI Coordinator) too cumbersome tasks (e.g., Class Adviser). Ideally, teachers should focus on teaching while other personnel performs non-teaching functions. However, a lack of relevant school positions makes it necessary for teachers and other employees to perform tasks on top of their primary mandate. In most cases, these additional efforts remain uncompensated, and teachers are overworked.
Office of the Undersecretary for Administration (OUA)