Teachers’ Christmas Wish: Remove Extra Paperwork

Teachers’ Christmas Wish: Remove Extra Paperwork

This Christmas, public school teachers in the Philippines, led by the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT), have a list of 12 wishes for improvements in education. Their main wish is to get rid of extra paperwork, which they find burdensome. They are waiting to see if the Department of Education (DepEd) will fulfill this wish by December 31, as DepEd promised to issue new rules to remove extra tasks from teachers by the end of the year.

ACT hopes to eliminate the Results-based Performance Management System (RPMS) and Individual Performance Commitment and Review Form (IPCRF) from their duties. These were part of the Strategic Performance Management System (SPMS), started in 2012 for all government workers, to measure their performance.

The RPMS, adopted by DepEd in 2015, checks how well government employees do over a year and is used to decide their yearly performance bonus. Teachers have to complete tasks like classroom observations, which vary based on their experience, and create portfolios showing their work.

Ruby Bernardo, head of ACT’s Metro Manila chapter, criticizes the system for focusing too much on quantity over quality in education. She points out that preparing these portfolios is time-consuming and sometimes just for show.

ACT’s other wishes include a salary raise, overtime pay, changes in the government insurance system, adjusting the school calendar, better sick leave, easing the 15-day service credit limit, and an option to retire at 56. They also want a higher allowance for teaching supplies and the full Service Recognition Incentive.

Lastly, ACT wants the government to stop falsely accusing progressive teachers of being communists and to appoint an Education Secretary with real experience in education.