[Statement] Teachers call for academic health break | TDC

Teachers call for academic health break

Field offices of the Department of Education (DepEd) are now intensifying the physical reporting of teaching personnel despite the fact that there are no essential tasks to be done in schools. This is a clear violation of DepEd’s own rule that says work-from-home (WFH) is the default set-up for classroom teachers. At the time of this writing, these DepEd offices are imposing physical reporting, while the country is experiencing record high COVID-19 infection.

At a time when these leaders should be focusing on the psychosocial well-being of teachers and students, it appears that to some offices, “normalcy of operation” outweighs the well-being, even the very lives of Filipinos. It is incomprehensible how oblivious DepEd officials can be of the danger of their choices.

In this time of danger, the people expect government agencies such as the DepEd to understand their priorities well and lead in protecting our citizens, teachers, students, and their families. But unfortunately, what we see are DepEd offices whose only concern is sending their people back to work, and risking their lives in doing so.

This value is a far cry from private schools who have halted their limited face-to-face classes to protect teachers and students. Additionally, these schools have suspended their online classes, a most prudent response to help their personnel and learners regain their much-compromised health, physically and psychologically.

We call on the DepEd Central Office, the single source of policies in the DepEd system to immediately instruct their field officials to abide by the rules on alternative work arrangements and cease risking the lives of our teachers, our youngsters, and their families. Onsite reporting is totally unwarranted at this time. Pilot fact-to-face classes have been halted for good reason. Why don’t some offices see this?

We reiterate our call to provide for at least one whole week of academic health break to give breathing space for teachers and learners alike.

Benjo Basas, National Chairperson
0923-0819750/ 0927-3356375
January 11, 2022

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