[Statement] More than flowers and praises, teachers deserve dignity | TDC

#HumanRights #Teachers

More than flowers and praises, teachers deserve dignity
(Statement for World Teachers’ Day 2021)

This school year will be the second chapter of Philippine education under the pandemic. Last September 13, a new school year was, according to the DEpEd, successfully opened. But we have to forgo most of the excitement that accompany school openings.

Only a month earlier, new cases of infection hovered in the vicinity of the dreaded 20K per day, a streak of record highs Filipinos could only watch with their eyes. Then came the announced pilot implementation of face-to-face classes in some 120 schools that seems to have miraculously “managed” the Covid-19 inflation somewhat.

The TDC remains steadfast and continue to put forward the following:

Protect teachers and learners from the dreaded virus.
Provide financial and institutional support to teachers who fall ill due to COVID19.
Unburden teachers from the insane workload that inexplicably quadrupled during the pandemic.
Optimize harnessing of technology to best deliver instruction, and cover many other communications needs for teachers to perform their duties, such as laptop computers. 
Provide a realistic amount of at least P1, 500 pesos for internet allowances for teachers to cope with the demands of distance learning.
Implement the welfare provisions of Magna Carta for Public School Teachers, i.e., health benefits, overtime pay and special hardship allowance, among others. Uphold and respect the teachers’ right to freedom of association

It’s World Teachers’ Day once again and the DepEd, as always, will continue pretending to celebrate the value of their front liners. It appears that the department is bent on making sure that teachers remain heroes by whatever means necessary, be it by commission or by omission. The DepEd leadership never cared to spare some minutes for a dialogue with the teachers’ groups- despite consistent requests.

Businesses will offer discounts- in bakeries, in department stores, in motels, even in funeral parlor, a trickle down treat for our teachers from those who made big earnings during the crisis.

Adding insult to injury, we–once again–hear politicians declaring the usual must-be-dones for teachers, better salaries, more benefits, you name it. But no worries, this phenomenon is expected to die down around 3 days before national elections.

Teachers don’t only have a voice on matters of education, they are ethically bound as mandated in the Code of Ethics for Teachers. Hiring and promotion. Career Development. Curriculum. Instructional Delivery. Learning Materials. Class sizes, and so many others. The Magna Carta for Public School Teachers is a half-a-century old document crafted by our best Filipino minds to protect our teachers from exploitation and neglect and to further guarantee their well-being, yet administrations and the DepEd have been treating it like it isn’t worth the paper it is written on.

Today, while teachers will appreciate festivities, songs, dances, praises, balloons and flowers, we call on the DepEd and the entire government to provide us what we deserve- rights, welfare and dignity. #

For details:
Benjo Basas, National Chairperson
Teachers’ Dignity Coalition

Razon UMC Compound, Tomas St., De Castro Homesite, Sta. Quiteria, Caloocan City
Telephone (02) 6920-296 • Mobile: 0916-6126739

Email: teachersdignity@yahoo.com.ph • Website: http://www.teachersdignity.com

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