8-hour workday for teachers


BY ASHZEL HACHERO

EDUCATION Secretary Jesli Lapus yesterday ordered the implementation of the eight-hour workday for public elementary and high school teachers.

Lapus said teachers now have to do six hours of actual classroom teaching and use the remaining two hours to make lesson plans and engage in other school activities.

Over and above the six-hour classroom work and the eight-hour workday, a teacher can charge overtime pay. Lunch breaks are not included in the new timetable.

The guidelines are in accordance with the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers (R.A. 4670).

Lapus said the order would give public school teachers more time to “innovate and enhance classroom teaching.”

Under Memorandum Order 291, public school teachers shall render at most six hours of actual classroom teaching a day except when undertaking academic activities that require presence outside the school premises such as educational trips.

School heads shall assign teaching loads to fully utilize the six-hour actual classroom teaching, i.e., one hour per teaching load with due regard for possible teaching intervals. Advisorship and/or special assignments for the entire school year combined shall be considered as one teaching load.

The two hours of teaching-related work within or outside the school premises includes preparation of lesson plans, action plans, instructional materials, evaluation/assessment of rubrics, preparation and checking of exercises, recording of academic performance and classroom accomplishments, conduct of research, attendance to seminars, workshops and similar programs, counseling, mentoring, coaching of students including home visits.

It also includes consultation with parents, performance of coordination activities and recognized community social services, and participation in the improvement and maintenance of school facilities.

In the exigency of the service, a teacher may be required to render more than six hours of teaching and more than eight hours of workday, provided they are given additional pay computed at the same hourly rate of the regular compensation, plus a premium of 25 percent of the hourly rate for actual classroom teaching in excess of six hours and for work performed in excess of eight hours.

Overtime pay can only be claimed for actual teaching and /or work performed within the school premises. In the event of non-availability of funds, service credits shall be granted and a one-hour overtime work shall be counted as 1.25 hours for purposes of determining the service credits.

Teachers Dignity Coalition (TDC) president Benjo Basas said teachers have finally been given a lighter load after four decades of asking for it.

Basas said teachers have complained that their daily work grind is too heavy because they also have to do administrative work and sometimes act as athletic coaches, judges in school contests, and even chaperons in intra-school competitions. Teachers are also required to serve as election inspectors.

He said many teachers have developed work-related diseases, such as pneumonia and tuberculosis, because of long nights and days of looking after students, their lesson guides and even the school itself. (Malaya)

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