It is common knowledge that teachers are often tasked to do non-teaching responsibilities, especially when they work in public schools. But a lawmaker wants to solve that problem by filing a bill that seeks to remove the non-teaching responsibilities of teachers and faculty members in all public schools.
Under House Bill 4232, otherwise known as “School Health and Safety Act” filed by Bohol 3rd District Representative Kristine Alexie Tutor, non-teaching responsibilities of teachers and faculty members in all public schools will be removed from their shoulders. These include non-administrative work like manning the school health facility and guidance office.
Rep. Tutor seeks for the creation of School Health and Safety Offices (SHSO) in all state-run educational facilities, including public technical and vocational schools. As frontline health care delivery center, the SHSO personnel will be the ones that would provide care for the students, taking the responsibility from teachers so they can focus on their lessons.
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The SHSO will be manned by qualified, licensed and certified personnel, the number of which will be determined by how many students are served by the school.
While teachers are heaped with many non-teaching responsibilities through regulations of the DepEd, TESDA, and CHED, Rep. Tutor explained that it is not too late to unburden them with some of the responsibilities that could be passed on to the SHSO.
“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,” she explained.
As House Committee on Health Senior Vice-Chairperson, Rep. Tutor determined that public schools, including branches and extension campuses with populations of up to 1,000 should have one each of the following: guidance counselor or psychologist, psychiatrist, medical doctor, nurse, dentist, nutritionist, dental hygienist, electrician, and plumber. There should be two security guards and two utility workers.
Since schools with over 3,000 students cater to a larger population, the measure requires them more SHSO personnel. While such schools only need one each of the guidance counselor, psychometrician, psychologist, and psychiatrist, Rep. Tutor suggests having two each of the medical doctors, dentists, nutritionists, and social workers. Then, there should be three nurses and three emergency medical technicians.
More security guards should also be deployed to schools. Moreover, the measure also requires more utility workers, electricians, and plumbers for the school, plus volunteer firefighters.
Having more of these workers in public schools will unburden the teachers of their non-teaching responsibilities, allowing them to focus on their lessons, the bill declared.