[Press Release] TDC appeals to Government to hire displaced private school teachers

Benjo Basas, National Chairperson, Teachers Dignity Coalition (TDC). Photo by Arnel Tuazon

September 10, 2020

TDC appeals to Government to hire displaced private school teachers

“Private schools are considered as partners of public school system in the delivery of education service to the Filipino, they are not in a competition. More so, teachers in private educational institutions are part of the working-class- the men and women who labor to keep the economy going and among those that were severely hit by the socio-economic crisis following the pandemic. Thus, the schools as institutions and the teachers as individuals should be assisted by the government in these tough times. ” said Benjo Basas, National Chairperson of the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC).

The TDC reacted to the information from the DepEd that there were around 748 private schools nationwide that have decided not to operate for school year 2020-2021. The data involved some 3, 233 teachers that will lose their jobs. According to the DepEd, low enrolment turn-out for this school year is the primary reason for the stoppage of operation.

“I think there should be a comprehensive assistance package especially for the small private schools that are dependent on the enrolment fees for their operation and the mission schools in far-flung areas that cater to the least fortunate communities. The government may think of some sort of subsidy and incentives. This may decrease the enrolment in the already congested public schools,” Basas explained.

According to the latest data from the DepEd, only less than 50% of those expected to enroll in private schools have enlisted for this year or a little more than two million students. This, for TDC could mean that many of private school clients have migrated to their public counterpart following the crisis.

“Because of this mass migration, our public schools will experience a sudden rise in enrolment, at least in some specific areas, that will eventually be the cause of heavy workloads for our teachers who are now still trying to cope with the new teaching modalities,” Basas added.

According to the TDC, in some urban centers like in Metro Manila and CALABARZON, they are receiving reports that class size, the number of Students per class or section could range from 50 to 70.

“To have 50 students in a single class, in whatever form of distance learning modality- online or modular would be very difficult and demanding- physically, emotionally and mentally,” Basas exclaimed.

For the TDC a class size of not more than 25 learners in intermediate and secondary; 20 for primary and 15 for kindergarten would be ideal.

“Dito po papasok yung sinasabi naming tulungan. The government may either subsidize some of our private schools or immediately hire the displaced private school teachers and other employees and evenly distribute the workloads,” Basas furthered.

The TDC reiterates that private school teachers who lose their jobs should receive assistance from the government and prioritize the eligible ones in hiring for plantilla positions. They also appeal to the DepEd to modify the hiring procedure so that positions that are included in 2020 budget could be filled up immediately prior to the October 5 class resumption.

“This, of course, would need funds that’s why we address our appeal to Congress to apportion the required budget,” Basas ended.

The TDC has initiated dialogues with several lawmakers for this advocacy. And while they support the efforts of the DepEd to pursue the school opening by October 5, they said that if the situation would warrant for another deferment, they propose the January 2021 start of the school year. #

For details:
Benjo Basas, TDC National Chairperson
0927-3356375/ 0923-0819750

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