RPMS-PPST policy gets in the way of teachers’ delivery of quality basic education
The Department of Education recently released a statement to deodorize the highly unpopular RPMS-PPST which is seen by public school teachers as the latest major burden that the Duterte government dropped on their heads. With so much rhetoric, DepEd Secretary Liling Briones painted the RPMS-PPST as a mechanism that is so important, so innovative and beyond DepEd’s call that it cannot be done away. The agency even attempts to solicit parents’ support for the policy, saying that it helps in ensuring that children get quality education. There are a number of important facts, however, that the department failed to disclose:
1. The government’s adoption of the results-based management framework is borne out of the policy recommendation done by the Asian Development Bank. The framework which the ADB calls the Results-Based Management Framework Business Model is an outright domination of private business profit-driven principles and methodologies in government operations and follows the three phases of capitalistic production:
“The first phase is investment in productive capacity by the supplier,
which may be government or, in the case of public–private partnerships (PPPs) and
contracted service delivery, the private sector. The second phase is combining inputs to
produce outputs—including human resources, consumables, and capital—that are suppliedto, and consumed by, the public in the third phase”
It sets operational/technical efficiency as a major government financial management objective which it defines as “obtaining the best value for money; providing cost-effective goods and services.”
2. In using this framework, the Results-based Performance Management System (RPMS) extracts and exploits teachers’ mental and manual labor without regard to their rights and welfare, just as how capitalistic production exploit workers for optimum profit.Teachers are made to work like tireless machines stripped off of dignityin exchange for meager salaries.
3. Such is the direct experience of teachers with the RPMS-PPST. Teachers are required to prove their delivery on five Key Result Areas, namely:
- Content, Knowledge and Pedagogy
- Learning Environment and Diversity of Learners
- Curriculum and Planning
- Assessment and Reporting
- Plus Factor
This means that throughout the year, teachers need to build up five portfolios that contain documents, reports, analyses/studies, certifications, and other modes of verification to attest to their ‘excellent’ performance of duty. The amount of time and resources required to accomplish these paperworks robs them of precious time that should have better been devoted to actual teaching, improvement of pedagogy, quality rest, and family time. Moreover, it entails extra costs for materials and replication of documents.
The policy also subjects allteachers to quarterly observations every school year. This puts teachers under undue pressure and extra expenses every two months to prepare for the observations. In the same manner, RPMS-PPST taxes master teachers, heads, and principals, who themselves have their own teaching loads and other duties,by obliging them to conduct frequent observations on all the teachers in their school.
4. These added duties pile up on top of the already excessive tasks that teachers are made to perform just so that the public education system will run despite the many problems of the system.
a. The K12 program which worsened shortages in classrooms, teachers, and facilities necessitates teachers to teach and ensure the learning of 50 to 60 students in every class;
b. Shortages in instructional and learning materials obliges teachers to exert extra effort in finding suitable basic materials for their lessons, not to mention expend their own money for photocopying of materials and for the purchase of equipment, such as laptops and projectors, to better facilitate learning and meet DepEd’s definition of ‘21st century teachers’;
c. The problematic K12 curriculum necessitates teachers to hold remedial and special reading classes for a growing number of students beyond class hours, without overtime pay;
d. Lack of educational support personnel forces teachers to perform non-teaching tasks such as serving as clerk, registrar, nurse, guidance counsellor, librarian, security guard, and others;
e. Coursing through of vital government programs in schools without the provision of necessary manpower obliges teachers to execute functions such as immunization, deworming, feeding, and other programs, which are mandates of other agencies; and
5. The RPMS-PPST unjustly subjects teachers to evaluation on duties that are beyond the coverage of their job description and/or workloads that are beyond humane standards.
RPMS-PPST does not help teachers improve the delivery of quality basic education. It does nothing to solve the most basic challenges and impediments that teachers face in doing their jobs. On the contrary, it pushes mentors farther away from performing their primary duty, which is to teach.
As the World Teachers’ Day approaches, the Department of Education and the Duterte government should stop implementing and defending bankrupt and oppressive policies and, once and for all, listen to the voices from the ground. To make good on the commitment made by the Philippine state to uplift the status of teachers for the objective of quality education five decades ago, we implore the Duterte government to heed the following demands:
- Salary Increase Now, 30k for T1; 16k for SG1; 31k for Instructor I!
- Junk RPMS-PPST!
- Free teachers from non-teaching duties, create items for Education Support Personnel!
- Fill up shortages in classrooms, facilities, equipment, and materials! Allocate higher MOOE budget for education!
- Allocate higher PS budget for more teaching items, benefits, and promotion!
- Implement 84-day PVP, scrap 15-day restriction on service credits!
- Implement free medical and mental health services!
- Implement Magna Carta provision on 6 hours teaching time and overtime pay!
- Respect union rights, implement Collective Negotiation Agreement!
- Review K12 program!
Reference: Joselyn Martinez, 0939 919 0930