SUCs need 17,000 full-time teachers

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State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) are “in dire need” of full-time teachers, according to the chairman of the House Committee on Higher and Technical Education.

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The SUCs need about 17,057 full-time faculty, which, Rep. Roman Romulo of Pasig City (Metro Manila) said on Sunday, is the estimated shortage of faculty in the SUCs based on the 2014 survey of the Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges (Pasuc).

“Pasuc has estimated that the creation of the much-needed faculty plantilla items will require approximately P5.5 billion funding,” he added in a statement.

The country has 2,299 higher education institutions (HEIs), classified into public or private. Public HEIs (656 in total) make up 28.53 percent, including 547 SUCs.

Romulo urged the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to create more plantilla positions for full-time faculty of SUCs so that the SUCs can meet their teaching staff shortage and improve delivery of quality education.

Citing the Pasuc report, he said the DBM has not given state-run universities and colleges additional plantilla items for the last 15 years, thus prompting the SUCs to use the budget department’s “scrap and build policy.”

Such policy is a strategy that includes deactivation of organizational units and/or conversion of vacant positions, in exchange for new ones of equivalent cost.

“There is a need to revisit the plantilla of the SUCs’ faculty and reduce their workload from 21 to 18 units or even lower not only to ensure quality instructional delivery services, but also to enable them to give the necessary attention to research and extension and keep pace with the demands of the 21st century,” Romulo said.

The shortage of plantilla positions has compelled teachers in the SUCs to focus on instruction to the detriment of research and extension programs, he added.

Some teachers, Romulo said, have been prompted to switch careers or seek work abroad, making it more difficult for the SUCs to meet the standard faculty-to-student ratio.

Most SUCs have a faculty-to-student ratio of 1:42, which is higher than the standard faculty-to-student ratio of 1:25, he added.

“The existing plantilla can no longer cater to the increasing trends in enrollment and the SUCs have been compelled to hire additional faculty through contracts, job orders and emergency instructors on part-time status,” Romulo said.

The creation of additional plantilla positions for full-time SUC faculty is being sought through House Resolution 1659, which is pending at the committee level.

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