MANILA - The Department of Education said Monday it would hire learning support aides (LSAs) to help teachers and parents facilitate the schooling of students at home as the country's basic education system shifts to a distance learning scheme due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The DepEd saw the need for the hiring of LSAs as it acknowledged that not all parents or guardians are capable of facilitating their children's studies at home.
Education Undersecretary Jesus Mateo said LSAs would also ease the workload of teachers, who have reportedly been experiencing burnout due to the overwhelming amount of work under the new distance learning scheme.
"Isa pong pamamaraan na ito para ma-manage natin o ma-ease iyong number of [work] hours ng ating mga guro," Mateo said in a virtual press briefing, adding that the department was still finalizing policies on LSAs.
(This is one way to manage or ease the number of work hours of our teachers.)
Mateo explained that the number of LSAs to be hired would depend on the need in schools or schools division offices (SDOs).
Independent learners, or students who are capable of studying at home by themselves, no longer need LSAs, said Mateo.
"Tututukan natin ang ating learners na medyo mahihirapan [sa distance learning]," he said.
(We will focus on our learners who will have a hard time in distance learning.)
Who are the target applicants?
According to Mateo's presentation during the briefing, SDOs shall prioritize and offer the LSA position to existing teacher applicants for School Year 2020 to 2021 who were not given permanent or provisional appointments due to lack of available plantilla teaching items.
Those who passed the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET) in the locality, as well as displaced private school teachers can also apply as LSAs, he added.
The tasks of LSAs include:
- Guide learners and households on the chosen learning delivery modalities
- Render assistance to the teacher in the lesson and preparation of delivery
- Monitor and track learners' progress and achievement
LSAs will earn around P6,000 to P11,000 per month, depending on the minimum daily wage in the region, said Mateo.
Mateo said applicants must be at least 21 to 59 years old, and must have graduated from senior high school or studied at least 2 years in college.
It is preferable for an LSA to be a resident of the community where the school is located to avoid mobility, he added.
LSAs will be hired under Contract of Service or Job Order for a period of at least 6 months, subject to renewal, according to Mateo.
Interested applicants can contact the nearest school or school divisions officer in their locality to check if they are looking for LSAs.
Mateo said schools can use their Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses or Special Education Funds from the local government to fund the hiring of LSAs.
When classes in public schools start on Oct. 5, students are expected to learn lessons at home through printed or digital modules, or online classes. These can be supplemented by lessons taught via radio and television.
As of Monday morning, some 24.6 million learners have enrolled in the basic education system this year, according to DepEd data. The figure is 88.8 percent of last year's total number of students.