Non-Academic Staff and their Essential Roles in Education

By: Reymond D. Ramos

In every school, there is what we call non-teaching personnel or non-faculty staff. They are regarded as a support group as the school moves forward to accomplish its mission and vision. The non-teaching staff is deemed as the allies of teachers and schools’ administrators in ensuring effective administrative operations. These staff members are often professional workers who contribute significantly to the achievement of school objectives. They bring to the organization an important repertoire of skills and a wealth of institutional wisdom and know-how, thus allowing them to work effectively alongside faculty members and the administration. Those non-academic staff who have served through a number of school administrations are more valuable in that their long experience gives them proficiency required in successful school operations. Non-academic staff members often have the following roles and responsibilities: Administrative-related responsibilities. Although not directly engaged in student instruction, these responsibilities help ensure the school runs smoothly. These include the provision of diverse clerical support to the school head. As administrative support providers, they are to accomplish or perform the following tasks on any given day:

• Collate and distribute mail

• Manage accounts and perform bookkeeping

• Schedule appointments and maintain calendars

• Coordinate staff

• Organize and prepare invoices, memos, emails, reports as well as other correspondence

• Write or revise documents such as reports, instructional documents and letters • Make and preserve a system of filing data or documents, either physically or electronically or both

• Their responsibility might also include housekeeping, catering and maintenance tasks

Although their core duties and responsibilities can vary from school to school, the job of non-academic staff revolve around supporting others. When people learn that a person works for the DepEd or a certain school, the immediate perception is that the same is working as a teacher. “What do you specialize on?” some might want to know. It may therefore come as a surprise to them that public schools also employ non-teaching staff in addition to instructors and administrators, and that these personnel, who are sometimes overlooked, play a crucial role in the school’s and education agency’s progress.

Without them, administrators would have a more difficult time managing the school system, since they will have no one to assist them with paperwork and records administration. That is why it is critical to assess their organizational work satisfaction as they are a critical component of success in sustaining excellence in the delivery of school-related services. While some surveys indicate that administrative officers and non-teaching professionals are happy with the services offered by various institutions, they continue to be short on contingent compensation and fringe benefits, leaving non-academic staff discouraged and, more like than not, ill-motivated to work. This might pose a negative effect not only for administrators who require their services but ultimately the school’s main clients, the learners.

Thus, efficient human management is required to avoid disputes and to handle them effectively when they do arise. This indicates that an organization’s performance is defined not just by the quality of available individuals, but also by how effective these human resources are harnessed and directed toward achieving the organization’s objectives. A higher level of expertise on the side of management in terms of personnel management might significantly improve school achievement. As pointed out earlier, non-teaching personnel provide essential services to school administration. They help facilitate administrative processes that eventually redound to the benefit not only of school administrators but teachers and learners as well. ###

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