[Press Release] Teachers reiterate calls to stop RPMS and liberate them from clerical tasks -TDC

Photo from TDC

As school break starts, the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) again call on the DepEd leadership to consider junking the results-based performance management system (RPMS) and revert to the simplified performance appraisal system for teachers (PAST) which has been in use for several decades until the introduction of RPMS in 2012.

“We are supposed to be in our families or taking a vacation right now after the daily teaching routine for 10 months, yet most of our colleagues are still required to report to their schools and accomplish this RPMS.” Said Emmalyn Policarpio, the group’s Secretary-General. “We are teachers and we are expected to teach our pupils and students, a duty that we diligently performed in our classrooms for the whole year, thus we deserve a break. This RPMS demands so much of our time, during and unfortunately, even after the school year.” She added.

RPMS is the performance rating system required by the Civil Service Commission (CSC) since 2012. While it is based on CSC order, the implementation varies from agency to agency.

Benjo Basas, the group’s chairperson said they have raised this concern many times and they are still waiting for the DepEd’s action since they had several dialogues last year. The system, according to him “requires the submission of documentation of practically everything a teacher does. It is a rigid and document-based performance system that causes stress and anxiety and steals the time of teachers for teaching. The most important factor in teaching and learning process is the time spent with the learners and not with documentation which cannot be used to gauge teachers’ actual performance. There should be a change in the policy.” He said.

The TDC last year raised this concern and immediately seek a dialogue with DepEd officials with the hope that the authorities will at least suspend its implementation. Along with the RPMS, the group also demanded the reduction of teachers’ clerical tasks and another rigid lesson preparation, among other issues which they labeled as Seven Demands. Due to failure to significantly address their concerns, the TDC staged a 12-day picket in front of the DepEd’s main office in Pasig from September 24 to October 5, 2018.

“Our earlier speculation can now easily be concluded, this RPMS will do more harm than good. We again call on DepEd authorities to consider halting the implementation of the RPMS and make use of the old system which is both lighter and proven effective. Teachers need more time for teaching rather than performing clerical work and documentation of tasks performed.” Policarpio ended.

Policarpio said that they willing to sit in another dialogue with DepEd officials to tackle and resolve the issue and come up with a mutual solution.

Emmalyn Policarpio, Secretary-General
0998-4865628

Benjo Basas, National Chairperson
0927-3356375

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FOR REFERENCE PURPOSES, HERE IS THE BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF TEACHERS’ SEVEN DEMANDS:

The seven demands, which the TDC said, are practical, doable and within the power and authority of the Secretary are as follows:

Immediately suspend the implementation of RPMS (results-based performance management system) and call for the widest consultation possible;
“Ipinatutupad na ang RPMS kahit pa marami sa mga mismong nag-roll out nito ay hindi kumbinsido o ayaw sa programang ito.”

RPMS is the performance rating system required by the Civil Service Commission (CSC) since 2012. While it is based on CSC memorandum, the implementation varies from agency to agency. In DepEd, the system requires to submit documentations of practically everything a teacher does. It is a rigid and document-based performance system that causes stress and anxiety and steals the time of teachers for teaching.

Put a halt on the implementation of DepEd Order No. 42 or the use of Daily Lesson Log (DLL) and Detailed Lesson Plan (DLP) and revert to simplified lesson preparations;
“Walang kuwenta ang maganda at detalyadong lesson plan, ang pagtuturo ang mas mahalagang pagtuunan!”

This is just a reiteration of TDC’s 2016 appeal to the DepEd. During a meeting on July 2016, some DepEd officials said that there will be review on lesson plan guidelines. Sec. Liling Briones herself declared in a meeting in November 2017 that they are reviewing the policy. For the teachers, lesson preparation should be simplified to serve as guide for their teaching and not to serve as another burden. The more important part of teaching is how to convey the learning to their students.

Stop all the on-going class observations and leave the teachers in their usual teaching tasks;
“Kung oobserbahan tayo sa klase, nawawala ang pokus natin sa pagtuturo dahil nagiging conscious tayo na i-please ang observer, maliban pa sa dagdag ito sa trabaho ng master teachers.”

While recognizing class observations as tool for assessment, the TDC denounces the on-going class observations in DepEd system that results to stress and anxiety of teachers. According to the RPMS, each teacher should undergo at least four class observations for a year. Though it varies in some areas, still an indication that there are things in the RPMS that needed to be clarified, thus, a consultation is indeed a necessity.

Prohibit Saturday classes and required meetings;
“Hindi kasalanan ng bata at guro kung may class suspension, huwag tayong parusahan!”

The DepEd in its earlier statements as well as in its policies said that it does not impose Saturday classes even if there were class suspensions due to inclement weather. Make-up up classes may only be justified when the 187-non-negotiable teaching days have been compromised. Also, the DepEd has recently ordered that meeting with the parents or other schools activities involving teachers should be done on Saturdays, a clear irony because the same agency orders its teachers not to give homework to students during weekends. Weekends are reserved for the teachers’ family or for self-development and usually consume for relaxation, studies or household chores.

Fully implement the six-hour workday nationwide with uniformity based on existing rules;
“Isang CSC Resolution, isang DepEd Order at isang DepEd Memorandum ang nagsasabing hindi puwedeng puwersahing magturo o mag-stay ng lampas sa anim na oras ang sinumang guro, bakit sa NCR lang ito naipatutupad? Mas makapangyarihan pa ba ang ilang SDS at school heads kaysa Central Office?”

As early as 2008, the CSC in a resolution has ordered the DepEd to release guidelines on the “Six-Hour Workday” or the requirement to stay in their school for only six hours, the two hours intended to accomplish other tasks incidental to normal teacing duties may be brought home or anywhere the teacher wants. However, the DepEd failed to implement the resolution despite the two subsequent issuances from Secretary Lapus in 2008 and 2009, DepEd Memorandum 291 and DeEd Order 16, respectively. Until now, many teachers are forced to stay in their respective school for 8 hours or more, even without classes or official functions.

Hire non-teaching personnel that will accomplish clerical tasks;
“Magturo ang trabaho ng guro, hindi ang gumawa ng reports at kung anu-anong forms.”

Teachers should be spared of clerical and other non-teaching tasks to be able to give their focus on teaching- prepare a good lesson and deliver such effectively. Clerical tasks should be left to non-teaching personnel specifically hired for the purpose.

Provide leave benefits for teachers during the school year
“Sa sobrang hirap at bigat ng trabaho, kailangan nating makapagpahinga paminsan-minsan, pero bawal tayong mapagod at magkasakit dahil wala tayong leave.”

Teachers are the only civil servants who do not enjoy the sick and vacation leave. Worse, there is a provision in Magna Carta for Teachers that mandates the government expenditure for their medical examination and even hospitalization. Unfortunately, the DepEd failed to implement this since 1966. It was also mentioned and actually agreed during the past dialogues with the DepEd but until this year, the annual physical examination is shouldered by the teachers in varying amount, from P120 the lowest to more than P1000.00 in the hinterlands.

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