#HumanRights #Education [Press Release] First Week of School Year, chaos instead of success
DepEd Chief Leonor Briones claimed success on the opening of classes last October 5. In particular, she declares that it was a victory against “the destroyer” COVID-19. But the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC), refuses to agree with Briones and said that the opening was neither a victory against pandemic nor a victory of education.
“The entire week was marred with already expected problems,” said Benjo Basas, the group’s National Chairperson. “From lack of modules to internet connectivity issues, the main, if not the only methods of teaching and learning under distance learning modality, things proved to be ill-prepared,” he added.
“A mere imposition of the beginning of another school year amidst the COVID-19 pandemic is not a victory against it, in fact, it could worsen the already dismal situation. In terms of education, we could actually foresee that there’s a lot of Filipino children who will be left behind as evidenced by so many unfortunate events last week,” Basas continued.
TDC said that while many teachers, despite apprehensions still anticipated and actually worked for a successful school opening, things turned out to be confusing at the very least.
“Because of all the confusion, teachers became easy targets for angry parents and learners alike. As if being bombarded 24/7 with calls and messages from hundreds of students were not enough, teachers had to absorb the raging insults from parents who can’t find anyone else to point a finger to for the nightmare they are experiencing,” Basas added.
The TDC said that teachers, as always, exhibited their patience and made the best possible response to their clientele. “Who can blame them? Some of our parents had to stop working just to help their children with their new and strange schooling. Level-inappropriate materials, ridiculously wrong content, impossible mode of learning, and volumes upon volumes of paper they had to unravel while worrying that they could be sifting through COVID19-laden modules,” Basas explained.
Basas furthered that teachers were being sacrificed just to beat the self-imposed October 5 deadline of the DepEd, “But worse for the teachers! Waiting for modules that never came, switching to FB messenger, phone calls, and text messages, to which many students have no regular access, and alternately going through learner outputs that sat for days in possibly infected homes.”
The TDC again calls on the DepEd management to once and for all re-connect with its teachers, the front liners in the ground to better grasp the situation in the field and to guide them in crafting more responsive and applicable policies. Most importantly, put the welfare of teachers in paramount consideration instead of imposing unrealistic programs at their expense.
“Teachers have become the bulletproof vests of the DepEd leadership ever since, and more so today. But we are not made of Kevlar. We are flesh and blood, just like our beloved students. We have taken so many bullets for the agency and yet, our leaders remain indifferent, unresponsive, and unfazed,” Basas ended.
Benjo Basas, 0927-3356375
Teachers’ Dignity Coalition
4443 BCL Homes, Independence St., Gen. T. De Leon Valenzuela City
Telephone (02) 6920-296 • Mobile: 0916-6126739
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