DepEd: Learning Support Aides to help teachers and parents guide students in distance learning

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 3) — The Department of Education says it will continue to need the help of Learning Support Aides (LSAs) for as long as distance learning continues amid the pandemic.

Speaking at the Laging Handa briefing on Tuesday, Education Undersecretary Jesus Lorenzo Mateo said there are currently around 3,200 LSAs in five regions nationwide. Of this number, around 2,000 are under the DepEd, while the rest are compensated by their respective local government units.

He said there was no cap on how many LSAs could be hired.

"Wala po tayong target kasi ayon po 'yan sa mga pangangailangan ng mga paaralan natin. Kasi depende po 'yan don sa magiging kailangan ng paaralan para matugunan yung pangangailangan ng mag-aaral," he explained.

[Translation: We have no target because that would depend on the needs of our schools. That would depend on what the school would require to meet the needs of students.]

Mateo said the target groups for LSAs are students without parents or adults to guide them, learners who cannot cope with independent learning, and parents who are not be able to supervise their children in the learning process.

Mateo said all LSAs must be at least senior high school graduates or second year college level, preferring those who live in the communities where they would serve as it would lessen the possibility of COVID-19 transmission.

Meanwhile, senators have called for the hiring of more non-teaching personnel to help teachers, after an international study showed Filipino educators worked longer hours than their peers worldwide.

Data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development showed that the Philippines has one of the highest number of working hours for teachers.

It said that every year, teachers in the country work for 1,218 hours, compared to the worldwide average of 772 hours.