By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
Instead of enjoying the summer break, a group of teachers on Friday alleged that there are still those who report to their respective schools to finish the “unnecessarily heavy paperwork” required by the “burdensome evaluation system” implemented by the Department of Education (DepEd).
The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) once again lamented the “burdensome, unnecessary, and unjust” evaluation system for public school teachers and urged the DepEd to junk the implementation of the Results-based Performance Management System (RPMS) and the Philippine Professional Standard for Teachers (PPST).
Both systems, ACT alleged, “compel teachers to render unpaid work” beyond April 5 which was the last day of School Year (AY) 2018–2019.
“Instead of enjoying the summer vacation, teachers are still reporting to their schools to finish the unnecessarily heavy paperwork demanded by the RPMS-PPST and to complete their IPCRF [Individual Performance Commitment and Review Form],” ACT National Chairperson Joselyn Martinez said. “We of course will not be compensated for such by DepEd,” she added.
For the ACT, summer vacation is teachers’ “only time for rest and reinvigoration as public school teachers are not entitled to sick and vacation leave credits for the whole school year, unlike other public and private employees who enjoy these benefits throughout the year.”
“These requirements are ridiculous!” said Martinez. “We are essentially being asked to prove that we worked the entire year through various means of verification identified by the PPST,” she added. This system, ACT alleged, is supposedly to ensure that teachers “comply with a set of standards recommended” by the Asian Development Bank.
Meanwhile, ACT questioned DepEd’s use of the RPMS-PPST framework and tools like the IPCRF to “measure teachers’ performance and productivity.” For the group, tools like these are “geared towards ensuring maximum profit at a minimum cost.” The teachers’ federation also argued that such is “not appropriate for government institutions and for service-oriented professions such as teaching.”
ACT noted that DepEd – for its part – “insists that the stringent evaluation system is aimed at improving the quality of teaching and, therefore, of education in the country.” For this, the group lambasted DepEd’s reasoning – saying that this “fails to account the dismal and neglected state of public education in the Philippines, and puts the entire burden of providing quality education on teachers.”
“DepEd is trying to veer the blame away from the major reason behind the declining quality of education in the country, which is no less than the problematic K to 12 program,” Martinez argued. She furthered that the RPMS-PPST “misses the multiple other hats teachers are forced to wear due to staff shortage, which include that of medical workers, social workers, guidance counselor, clerk, janitor, security guard, and many others.”
“DepEd has effectively reduced our profession to reams of useless forms and paper works, which disregard the indispensable work we do as teachers,” Martinez lamented. “We care for these children like they are our own, and have dedicated our lives to ensuring that the youth gets a proper education despite very little support from the government [but] we deserve better than to be treated like this,” she added.
Aside from the immediate scrapping of the RPMS-PPST, ACT further urged the DepEd to “jointly work with teachers in crafting mechanisms for evaluation that give justice to the teaching profession.”