QUEZON CITY, February 28, 2020 — Keen to further reduce teachers’ load in school duties, the Department of Education (DepEd) is in continuous talks with the concerned national agencies to grant the needs for more non-teaching staff and guidance counselors.

Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones on Thursday reported on a meeting of the House of Representative Committee of Basic Education and Culture that the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) is favorably considering the request of DepEd for the adding of non-teaching items to its overall budget.

For this year, DepEd was granted additional 5,000 non-teaching items but Briones hopes more slots for administrative or technical jobs will be given to the thousands of schools that the Department is managing.

“It is not enough for our 47,000 public schools but it is already, I believe, a step in the right direction,” Secretary Briones said.

DepEd has also reduced the number of school forms needed to be filled out by teachers to 10 from the previous 36 forms after implementing simplified school forms, standardization of format, and updating and reduction of data needed in existing forms.

Solving the guidance counselors’ supply problem

The DepEd chief also said that discussion with the DBM and Civil Service Commission (CSC) is ongoing to ease up minimum requirements to attract more guidance counselors in the public school system.

“At this time with Generation Z and the challenges which our learners our facing from society and global developments, kailangan talaga ng guidance counselors,” Briones noted.

Briones explained that a public school guidance counselor has a very stringent minimum requirement, needing a master’s degree holder, but the government does not offer a competitive salary for practitioners, thus creating a ‘problem of supply’.

“We don’t have enough graduates that specializes in guidance counselling, and if they are, they are usually in the private sector because the compensation is more attractive,” she said.

The Department is working on finding ways with DBM and CSC in solving the disparity in the qualification standards and the salary grade for entry level for guidance counselors as provided by law.