The Department of Education has released guidelines on the reduced classroom hours of teachers giving flesh to the Civil Service Commission ruling that allow teachers 6 hours of actual classroom teaching instead of the usual 8 hours.
The SCS ruled that while teachers are not exempt from the eight-hour workday provided for in R.A. 1880, they are given at most 6 hours a day of actual teaching. The remaining two hours may be spent within or outside the school premises in teaching-related activities.
The guidelines were finalized by DepEd in consultation with principals and teachers. According to Education Secretary Jesli Lapus the proposed guidelines are in sync with Section 13 of Republic Act 4670 otherwise known as the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers.
“After 42 years, DepEd will now implement the 6-hour actual teaching load a day for our teachers as provided for in the Magna Carta. The move of the DepEd and CSC will allow our public school teachers to have more time to innovate and enhance classroom teaching,” Lapus said. Based on DepEd Memorandum 291 s. 2008, 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, the memo said, shall assign teaching loads to public school teachers to fully utilize the 6-hour actual classroom teaching, i.e., six teaching loads at one hour per teaching load with due regard for possible teaching intervals. The memo further stated that all advisorship and/or special assignments for the entire school year combined shall be considered as one teaching load.
A teacher with less than 6 hours of actual classroom teaching shall render additional hours of teacher-related activities and duties to complete the six hours.
The two hours of teaching-related work within or outside the school premises to comply with the 8-hour workday include 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.
Also considered as teaching related activities are 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 public school teacher may be required to render more than 6 hours of teaching and more than 8 hours of workday provided they are given additional compensation computed at the same hourly rate of the regular compensation, plus a premium of 25% of the hourly rate for actual classroom teaching in excess of 6 hours and for work performed in excess of 8 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.
Lapus earlier appealed to the Civil Service Commission to release an appropriate interpretation of Section 13 of RA 4670. In reply, the CSC says that “there is nothing in the law which limits the hours of work of teachers to only six hours. What is limited to six hours is the actual classroom teaching of the teachers.” Lapus added that “having settled the issue on workload that favors the teachers is a landmark victory for our more than 480,000 – strong teaching force nationwide.