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VP Sara: Hiring of 30,000 teachers yearly, 6% of GDP DepEd budget ‘impossible’

The suggestion that the Department of Education (DepEd) hire 30,000 teachers yearly and for the education budget to be 6% of gross domestic product was unrealistic and impossible, Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte said on Monday.

In a bid to improve the quality of education, the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) had called for the hiring of 30,000 new teachers annually until 2028 as this would resolve the teacher shortage and decrease class sizes to 35 students.

Also, to address the classroom backlog of more than 165,000 rooms, House Deputy Minority leader and ACT Teachers partylist Representative France Castro also urged the government to set an education budget that was at least 6% of GDP

Duterte, however, called the suggestions “obviously deceptive maneuvers deliberately designed to counter the Marcos administration’s solution to the problems hounding the education sector.”

“The call could not be coming from a place of genuine concern for the future of our learners and the welfare of our teachers. Instead, it is a call motivated by the group’s fascination for demands and goals that are unrealistic and impossible — placing the government in a precarious situation that will ultimately end in failure,” she said in a statement.

Duterte said that DepEd intends to continue hiring additional teaching and non-teaching personnel this year, and is also set to deploy more administrative officers in schools to complement its workforce and reduce the administrative tasks of teachers.

For 2023, DepEd is planning to hire around 9,650 new teachers, according to spokesperson Michael Poa on Thursday.

“Instead of solely focusing on archaic and ineffective solutions, we will also tap into available technology to address current challenges. These form part of the reforms that we will implement to ensure the effective delivery of basic education to Filipino learners and champion teachers' welfare,” Duterte said.

“Our objective is to eliminate elements that contribute to learning losses, effectively implement reforms, and exercise fiscal responsibility by using resources wisely through innovations and mechanisms that will improve learning.” — DVM, GMA Integrated News