Bianito Dagatan, Bohol Schools Division superintendent, expressed optimism that local government units (LGU) will be able to hire more learning support aides (LSA) before the school year starts in September.
According to Dagatan, the Department of Education (DepEd) does not have enough budget to hire LSAs prompting the agency to tap LGUs instead to fund the employment of LSAs for their respective localities.
“Ang national di man pud mahimo na mao ray atong saligan kay ang resources dili man enough so naa tay mga LGU sa ni-agi nakahire na sila,” said Dagatan.
Carmela Restificar, DepEd Bohol’s OIC Curriculum Implementation Division chief, said only five LGUs so far have hired LSAs.
She said San Miguel has the most number of LSAs at 30 while Ubay has two. Dauis and Candijay have one each.
According to Restificar, the provincial government was supposed to also hire LSAs but was not able to release a budget in time for the previous school year.
“Diha man unta toy to be funded by the provincial government pero dugay man ang proseso bitaw mao tong karon school year-a wala so basin sunod tuig madajon na to,” she said.
According to Dagatan, LSAs are tasked to assist teachers and parents in the delivery of basic education services in the distance-learning setup.
“Lain lang ang tawag which is LSA kay tua man siya sa community pero pareha ra na sa saunang panahon na wala pa sa COVID-19 na gitawag na teacher aide kay under man pud siya sa maestra,” said Dagatan.
LSAs may be non-teachers and will not replace nor duplicate the functions of teachers who will still be the main facilitators of learning instruction in public schools.
“LSAs will just provide assistance to learners, they shall not act as teachers but instead get instruction and guidance from the teachers,” Dagatan said.
The DepEd official noted that LSAs will prioritize students identified by schools as those who need support, including those who have no parents, siblings or relatives who can assist them with their studies.
“Dili pud kinahanglan adto gyud sulod sa balay. Pwed ra sa purok center or any place nga safe, provided no mass gathering,” he added. (A. Doydora)