February 9, 2023

It is true that teaching is the noblest profession as it creates the world’s professionals, and there will be no knowledge communicated or transferred if educators are not there. Yet, the equilibrium of producing professionals and multifaceted teachers’ performance cannot maintain if the latter suffer the repercussions of being in the field of education, similar to an athlete whose body cannot work or recover when its ages and is vehemently used over the years.
Educators must maintain a vibrant classroom environment and lifelong learning center to continuously strengthen the educational system. However, one of the most crucial conditions that a teacher should strive for is controlling stress at work while simultaneously managing the congested academic workloads for them to be as productive as possible.
The abrupt shift to online learning, combined with parental and peer pressure and lack of adequate governmental support, has more than increased the workload, not to mention the expenses of already overburdened public school teachers. Prior to starting the classes, teachers, head teachers, and principals were already juggling multiple responsibilities such as creating learning materials, attending webinars, and completing courses on various learning modalities. Henceforth, these grievous duties steer to a staggering educational quality and educator burnout.
Clarissa C. David, Jose Ramon G. Albert, and Jana Flor V. Vizmanos of the Philippine Institute of Development Studies (PIDS) wrote in a policy paper that public school teachers’ workload is not confined to teaching but includes non-teaching activities.
The study stated that with this workload, actual teaching is increasingly sidelined by the burdensome quantity of other responsibilities and roles that teachers have to perform. Rather than carefully studying the subject and developing new ways to teach the students, their attention is now split between non-teaching duties. Therefore, with high hopes, teachers clamored that the non-teaching responsibilities will be minimal and be more focused in their delivery of lessons – to expect a more creative and effective teaching method.
The PIDS also recommended that teachers “get extra designations on student counseling, budget, disaster management, and health.”
In essence, reduced workloads matter, as teachers’ time was taken away from caring for their families, themselves, and teaching. This has been a call to the Department of Education and Commission on Higher Education – to reassess the workload and address the appeal of the teachers’ additional chores that were pushing them beyond capability. With such, it is a clamor to provide teachers a creative space to deliver the educational demands of the students by lessening the workloads and removing these non-teaching duties.
Despite the threat of Covid-19, educators have also been called frontline workers to guarantee that education is still the basic human right. For them, the learning process never stops, and with their finest ways, they continue to give quality education even struggling. Yet, as individuals, they do not deserve to be stripped away of their time, and part of securing their well-being is ensuring they are not overburdened with work. (ANGELINE L. INYAKA)