Legazpi city, (PNA) — The Department of Education (DepEd) will be hiring about 3,000 new public school teachers for the next school year in Bicol. But the region’s smallest province of Camarines Norte is getting the biggest share.
The DepEd regional office based at the Regional Government Center in barangay Rawis here said Camarines Norte has been allotted 400 slots in this year’s hiring.
The remaining slots will be divided among the five other Bicol provinces.
DepEd Regional Director Orfelina Tuy said the massive hiring this year is primarily based on the need for more new teachers in relation to the third phase of the transition in the K+12 Basic Education Program to be implemented in School Year (SY) 2013-2014 that will open in June, this year.
The program involves the Universal Kindergarten, which was started in SY 2011-2012, and the enhanced curriculum for Grade 1 and Grade 7, which will be rolled out in SY 2012-2013 and progressively introduced in the other grade levels in succeeding school years.
The transition also involves Grade 11 that will be introduced in SY 2016–2017 and Grade 12 in SY 2017–2018.
The first batch of high school students to go through K+12 will graduate in March 2018.
Based on the DepEd’s K-6-4-2 Model, this basic education program provides a Kindergarten, six years of elementary education, four years of junior high school (Grades 7 to 10) and two years of senior high school (Grades 11 to 12).
The two years of senior high school intend to provide time for students to consolidate acquired academic skills and competencies.
Since the program is designed to decongest and enhance the basic curriculum and provide better quality education for all, hiring of new teachers will be a continuing yearly process until 2016 when the first year of the two additional years is implemented.
For this, Tuy said, DepEd needs 103,599 more teachers nationwide and 61,500 of them will be taken for the June opening of SY 2013-1014 and distributed among its 17 regional offices.
Over 3,000 of the June recruits will be for Bicol, with Camarines Norte getting not less than 400, a number pre-determined by the recent holding of early registration of incoming kindergarten and elementary pupils, according to her.
Camarines Norte, composed of 12 municipalities to become the second smallest in the region next to Catanduanes, has 253 public elementary schools with latest enrollment of over 100,000 pupils and 51 public secondary schools with around 40,000 students.
Based on the 2010 census, the province had a total population of 542,915, 47 percent of which are children of school ages.
The province, sitting at the northernmost end of Bicol and serving as gateway to the Southern Tagalog Region, has a simple literacy rate of 97.10 percent and Female Youth Basic Literacy (15-54 years old) of 99.80 percent, according to official records.
The early registration was conducted by the DepEd last January 26 in all schools covered by its 30 divisions in the region wherein the number of teachers, classrooms, chairs, books and other requirements for the coming school year were determined based on the turnout of registrants.
Apart from the 3,000 new teachers, Tuy said, Bicol expects to have 3,500 new classrooms and around 38,000 chairs for the hundreds of thousands of school children this school year.
DepEd’s budget this year was given a 27-percent increase.
The budget increase, Tuy said, is part of the efforts of the administration of President Benigno Aquino III to close the resource gaps in the country’s basic education within two years.
The immediate cost for the K+12 program will not be needed until 2016 when the first year of the two additional years is implemented.
The DepEd has estimated the total funding requirement to procure all its needed resources at P150 billion for 152,569 new classrooms, 103,599 more teachers, 95.6 million more books and13.2 million seats.
This coming school year, the DepEd intends to construct 60,000 classrooms and purchase 650,000 seats for nationwide distributions.