“This incident only shows the vulnerability of our teachers to different forms of abuse. Thus we call on the DepEd to take measures to protect our teachers from harassment, intimidation, threat, violence, extortion and public humiliation. One urgent step is to hire dedicated lawyers to defend our teachers, both for administrative and criminal charges. Meanwhile, the spontaneous and unanimous support to a colleague, which is far more decisive and powerful than our demand for salary increase proves that indeed, for the Filipino teachers, teaching is not all about money, it’s about dignity.”
Following is the letter sent to the Office of the Secretary Liling Briones.
25 November 2019
Department of Education (DepEd)
DepEd Complex, Meralco Avenue
The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) commends your office for the statements in support of our colleague who was being embarrassed, humiliated and publicly tried and judge using both mainstream and social media. While we will never tolerate any wrongdoing of our brothers and sisters in the profession, we will defend their right to due process as enshrined not just in the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers, but in the Philippine Constitution as well.
Thus, we would like to respectfully submit the following proposals for the consideration of the Department and further recommendation to the proper agencies and policy-making bodies:
1. Reduction of class size to a maximum of 30 students per classroom;
2. Provision of sick and vacation leave benefits for classroom teachers;
3. Creation of more SPED centers and hiring of SPED teachers based on the needs;
4. Professionalization of school guidance and counseling system and hiring of registered guidance counselors with a salary grade based on their qualification;
5. Institutionalization of alternative school discipline policies agreed by school administrators, teachers, parents and learners;
6. Amendment of certain penal provisions of RA 7610;
7. Protection of teachers from harassment, intimidation, physical threat, extortion and media sensationalization;
8. Hiring of dedicated lawyers for the defense of public school teachers facing administrative and criminal charges;
9. Massive and substantial training on Positive Discipline approach; and
10. Review of the DepEd Child Protection Policy and crafting of for the protection of our teachers as well.
We believe that these proposals will help to put an end to the so-called public-shaming suffered by our teachers. Should you find this letter worthy of consideration, we will be more than willing to sit in a meeting to present our ideas as well as share our experiences on the matter.
Thank you very much and we anticipate your most favorable response!
For teachers’ dignity,
BENJO G. BASAS
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