The Department of Education (DepEd) is the government agency responsible for overseeing the education system in the Philippines. It is also the largest employer of teachers in the country. However, in recent years, there has been a growing trend of DepEd teachers resigning from their posts and seeking employment as teachers abroad, particularly in the United States, through the J1 visa program.

children sitting on brown chairs inside the classroom
Photo by Arthur Krijgsman on

The J1 visa program is a cultural exchange program that allows foreign nationals to come to the United States to teach, study, or participate in other educational and cultural exchange activities. The program is managed by the US Department of State and is designed to promote cultural exchange and mutual understanding between the United States and other countries.

One of the reasons why some DepEd teachers are resigning and seeking employment abroad is because of the relatively low salaries and lack of benefits that they receive in the Philippines. According to a report by the World Bank, the average salary of a DepEd teacher in the Philippines is only about US$500 per month, which is significantly lower than the average salary of a teacher in the United States.

In addition to the higher salaries and better benefits, working as a teacher in the United States also offers other advantages, such as access to better facilities, resources, and teaching materials. Moreover, it provides an opportunity for teachers to experience a different culture, improve their language skills, and develop their professional network.

However, there are also some challenges and risks associated with seeking employment abroad as a teacher. One of the biggest challenges is the cultural and linguistic barrier, which can make it difficult for teachers to adapt to the new environment and communicate effectively with their students and colleagues. Moreover, the J1 visa program is only temporary, and teachers who wish to stay in the United States and pursue a career as a teacher must apply for other visas or permanent residency, which can be a long and complex process.

Furthermore, some critics argue that the migration of highly skilled teachers from the Philippines to other countries, particularly the United States, is exacerbating the shortage of teachers in the Philippines and undermining the quality of education in the country. The government has implemented various policies and programs to address this issue, such as increasing the salaries and benefits of teachers and improving the training and professional development opportunities available to them.

Realizations and advantages

While seeking employment abroad as a teacher offers many advantages, it also poses some challenges and risks. DepEd teachers who are considering resigning from their posts and pursuing a career as a teacher abroad should carefully weigh the pros and cons of such a decision and ensure that they have the necessary qualifications and skills to succeed in a foreign environment. Moreover, the government and other stakeholders must work together to address the underlying issues that are driving the migration of highly skilled teachers from the Philippines and ensure that the education system in the country is able to provide high-quality education to all students.


Reasons and factors on resignation

Another factor that may contribute to DepEd teachers resigning from their posts and seeking employment abroad is the increasing number of administrative tasks, coordinatorship duties, and non-academic programs that they are required to participate in.

Since the implementation of the K-12 curriculum in the Philippines, DepEd teachers have been required to participate in various non-academic programs, such as sports, music, arts, and values education, which are aimed at developing the whole person and promoting the holistic development of students. While these programs are important and valuable, they also require a significant amount of time and effort from teachers, which can take away from their primary role as educators.

Moreover, many DepEd teachers are also required to take on administrative tasks and coordinatorship duties, such as maintaining student records, coordinating with parents and other stakeholders, and supervising other teachers. These tasks are essential to the efficient operation of the school system, but they also require a significant amount of time and effort from teachers, which can detract from their ability to focus on teaching and overseeing the academic progress of their students.

As a result, some DepEd teachers may feel overwhelmed and frustrated by the multiple demands placed on them, which may lead them to seek employment abroad where they can focus more on teaching and less on administrative and coordinatorship duties.

Furthermore, the requirement for teachers to participate in seminars and workshops, especially during school hours, can also disrupt classes and affect the academic progress of students. While these seminars and workshops are designed to provide teachers with the necessary skills and knowledge to improve their teaching practices, the timing and frequency of these events can be problematic, especially if they are not carefully planned and coordinated.

In conclusion, the increasing demands placed on DepEd teachers to participate in administrative tasks, coordinatorship duties, and non-academic programs, as well as the disruptions caused by seminars and workshops, may contribute to their decision to resign and seek employment abroad. To address this issue, DepEd and other stakeholders must ensure that teachers are given the necessary support, resources, and training to effectively carry out their roles as educators, without being overwhelmed by administrative tasks and coordinatorship duties. Moreover, seminars and workshops should be scheduled in a way that minimizes disruptions to classes and maximizes the benefits for teachers and students alike.

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