The Department of Education (DepEd) said Tuesday (Sept. 15) it has no funding allocation for the hiring of para-teachers or tutors for blended or distance learning in the proposed P4.506-trillion national budget for 2021.
“The question on whether there is 2021 budget line item on the hiring [of para-teachers], there is none. What we have is the creation of the regular teaching position and that is what we are planning to do next year,” DepEd Undescretary Annalyn Sevilla told the House Committee on Appropriations during a budget briefing, presided by its vice chairperson Negros Oriental 1st District Rep. Jocelyn Limkaichong.
DEpEd Undersecretary for Planning and Field Operations Jesus Mateo apprised the panel that their draft policy governing the guidelines on the hiring of para-teachers or tutors “is being finalized.”
Under the draft policy, he explained that the Schools Division Offices are allowed to hire learner support aides to help the parents as well as the guardians to ensure that children will continue their education under the blended learning program.
He explained that the school Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE), and the Special Education Fund (SEF) have been identified as the sources of funding for such initiative.
“The source of funding on the draft policy will be the school MOEE if there is still school MOEE left and the other is Special Education Fund,” Mateo said.
In a virtual press briefing on Aug. 24, Education Secretary Leonor Briones said the displaced teachers from private schools will be prioritized when they start hiring para-teachers.