DepEd on hiring 30,000 teachers yearly: 'Unrealistic, impossible'

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 28) – The Department of Education (DepEd) on Monday said a call to hire 30,000 public school teachers and increase classroom budget to ₱100 billion annually is “unrealistic and impossible.”

“It is a call motivated by the group’s fascination for demands and goals that are unrealistic and impossible — placing the government in a precarious situation that will ultimately end in failure,” Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte said.

Duterte was reacting to the Alliance of Concerned Teachers’ (ACT) statement on Wednesday, urging the DepEd to hire 30,000 teachers annually up to 2028 to address shortage of teachers and decrease class size to 35.

“We need to hire 25,000 new teachers yearly until 2028 to eradicate the shortage, and an additional 5,000 new teachers to cover the yearly increase in enrolment,” ACT Chairperson Vladimer Quetua said.

On March 16, DepEd Undersecretary Epimaco Densing also said the department would be able to address the gap in seven years if it had a ₱100 billion budget for classroom construction on a yearly basis.

He said there is a shortage of around 165,000 classrooms, while ACT said the country is short of 147,000 teachers.

READ: DepEd seeks other funding sources to close 165,000 classroom gap

But for Duterte, ACT’s suggestion is a “deceptive maneuver deliberately designed to counter the Marcos administration’s solution to the problems hounding the education sector.”

"Instead of solely focusing on archaic and ineffective solutions, we will also tap into available technology to address current challenges," she added. "The Department intends to continue hiring additional teaching and non-teaching personnel this year. It is also set to deploy more administrative officers in schools to complement its workforce and ultimately reduce the administrative tasks of teachers."

Relating it anew to communist rebels, the education chief said ACT is just trying to divert public’s attention away from armed conflicts in Masbate province.

Duterte previously tagged ACT as having a communist ideology after the group expressed support to what the education chief described as a “communist-inspired” transport strike that occurred on March 6 to 12.

READ: Weeklong transport strike a ‘learning disruption’ – DepEd