More than 30,000 new teachers will be hired for this school year to address a shortage of teachers in public schools, the Department of Education (DepEd) said on Friday.
DepEd assistant secretary for planning Jesus Mateo said the department was given the green light to hire 31,335 elementary and high school teachers following the release of P9.5 billion to fund the hiring of Teacher I positions nationwide.
Mateo said in a text interview DepEd would also absorb school teachers hired by local government units (LGUs).
“And while there are LGU-hired and volunteer teachers, this school year to fill the gap, we are targeting absorbing those qualified along with new applicants to better serve our learners,” he said, adding that the absorption of locally hired teachers would help address the possible shortage of teachers in June.
But he said they are still gathering information and coordinating with their local offices on how many of the LGU teachers can fill the regular teachers’ item.
“We cannot be sure how many of these will be filled by LGU-funded teachers since they, together with new applicants, still have to undergo the screening process,” Mateo said.
There are about 37,000 teachers hired and paid by various LGUs nationwide, augmenting the DepEd workforce.
According to Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, the P9.52-billion release will give the education department enough funding legroom to close the 33,194-teacher gap in public schools by 2015.
DepEd has set the teacher-pupil ratios for an ideal number of students per class.
For Kindergarten, the ratio is one teacher per 25-35 students, while the Elementary Multigrade (different levels in one classroom), the ratio is one teacher for less than 30 students (Grades 1-2, 3-4, and 5-6).
The ratio for the Elementary Monograde (one level per classroom) is one teacher for 40-50 students for Grades 1-2; one teacher for 45-55 students for Grades 3-4; one teacher for 45-55 students for Grades 5-8; and one teacher for 45-55 students for Secondary Level Years 3-4.
NEIL A. ALCOBER