Saturday, December 14, 2019

Bill removing non-teaching responsibilities from teachers, pushed

A Lawmaker has filed a bill which removes non-teaching responsibilities from the shoulders of teachers and faculty members in state-run schools. Among this non-administrative work is manning the school clinic and the guidance office, and the like.

Bohol 3rd district Representative Alexie B. Tutor has filed House Bill 4232, titled the “School Health and Safety Act,” which aims to establish School Health and Safety Offices (SHSO) in each public school to be manned by qualified and licensed personnel so that the teachers can focus on teaching.

Early this year, think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies released a study urging the Department of Education to review the workload of public school teachers who also have administrative duties, which may affect their quality of teaching.

The SHSO is envisioned to be “a potent front line health care delivery center strategically placed within schools to serve students, their parents, and their teachers,” said Ms. Tutor in her explanatory note.

Under the measure, schools with populations of up to 1,000 should have one medical doctor, a nurse, a dentist, a nutritionist, a guidance counselor, and a psychiatrist. Schools with a population of more than 3,000 are required to have two medical doctors, three nurses, two dentists, two nutritionists, two social workers, one guidance counselor, a psychologist, a psychiatrist, a psychometrician, and three emergency medical technicians.

“School health, security, and safety manpower in our public schools is grossly inadequate. At the DepEd, the school nurse-to-student ratio they are following is 1:5,000 and the allocation of the school nurse items is not by school, but by school division which means by province or by city,” said Ms. Tutor, who is also the vice-chairperson of the House health committee.

Aside from medical personnel, the bills also provides that schools should have plumbers, volunteer firefighters, electricians, and utility workers.

The measure also calls for enough security guards in public schools to prevent crimes and entry of illegal drugs in campuses.

“There is also the urgent need to keep illegal drugs from physically entering campuses and being used and sold to students and school personnel. Moreover, it has become necessary to strengthen preventive anti-drug abuse campaigns among students, their parents, and the teachers,” said Ms. Tutor.