(File photo)

MANILA – One of the long-standing complaints of public school teachers is work overload.

That is having to perform other chores that are completely unrelated to their jobs resulting in fatigue and burn-out on their part, that somehow also affect the quality of their teaching.

Fully aware of their predicament, presidential frontrunner Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. plans to expand the number of non-teaching personnel in public schools to address the situation.

He said one way to maintain high quality education in public schools is to reduce the non-teaching loads of teachers.

Based on studies, many public school teachers have ancillary works that don’t match with their specialties or expertise.

For example, some teachers also act as librarians or even property custodians. Others are acting as nurses, canteen in-charge or even athletic heads, he said.

Marcos said he wanted to change this unproductive system by filling the void in every public school and increasing the number of non-teaching personnel, to relieve the teachers' from being overburdened with work.

The Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP) standard bearer said adding non-teaching staff would give teachers more time to prepare for their lessons and focus only on what subjects they were assigned to.

“Matagal nang dinadaing ng ating mga guro ang ganitong sistema, ‘yung additional work, ‘yung non-teaching loads, panahon na para baguhin at matugunan ito, so paano? (Our teachers have long complained about this system, ‘the additional work,’ the non-teaching loads, it is time to change and address it, so how?) We need to hire more non-teaching personnel who are qualified for the job, yung tinutukoy ko is yung mga sobrang ginagawa ng mga guro na hindi naman dapat sila gumagawa (I am referring to the things that teachers do too much that they shouldn't be doing),” Marcos said in a news release on Thursday.

“In that case, we can ease the work of the teachers, mabibigyan natin sila ng mahabang oras na makapag handa, makapag-prepare ng mga lesson sa kung anong subject na ituturo nila, kung minsan kasi yung mga guro natin, teacher na sila nagiging librarian, nurse din sila, may nababalitaan pa tayo na may mga nagbabantay pa ng canteen (we can give them a long time to prepare, to prepare lessons on whatever subject they will teach, sometimes because our teachers, they are teachers who become librarians, they are also nurses, we still hear that there are still guards of the canteen),” he added.

Marcos also said reducing the extra burden of teachers would also protect their mental health which was obviously affected during this pandemic.

“Nitong pandemic nakita natin kung paano ‘yung naging adjustment ng mga guro, kahanga-hanga naman talaga, pero hindi natin maitatanggi na marami sa mga guro natin ang nahihirapan sa mga gawain, marami ang nai-stress, nadi-depress at labis na naapektuhan ‘yung kanilang mental health (In this pandemic we have seen how the adjustment of teachers has been, it is really amazing, but we cannot deny that many of our teachers are having difficulty with their tasks, many are stressed, depressed and very affected their mental health),” Marcos said.

In his previous pronouncements, Marcos said he plans to revisit the Department of Education (DepEd) K-12 program, aside from that he wanted to do is also to increase the teacher’s salary and provide appropriate benefits for them.

The former senator is also planning to hire more teachers on permanent status.

Siyempre, mag-hire pa tayo ng mas maraming permanent teachers, kulang talaga tayo sa mga guro, pero ang pagkaka-alam ko naman yearly ito ginagawa ng DepEd, pabilisan siguro natin ‘yung application nila para mapunan yung kakulangan natin sa mga guro (Of course, we will hire more permanent teachers, we are really short of teachers, but as far as I know, DepEd does this annually, maybe we will speed up their application to fill our shortage of teachers),” he said. (PR)