Tag Archives: Education

[From the web] Lessons Unlearned: Fight for Inclusive Education Carries into Second Year of Remote Learning | by Isaiah Castro/ PhilRights.org

#HumanRights #Education

Lessons Unlearned: Fight for Inclusive Education Carries into Second Year of Remote Learning
by Isaiah Castro

“It makes me anxious,” John Carlou, 20, confesses when asked how he feels about remote learning. “Since it started, I have been struggling financially, mentally, and emotionally. Also, learning at home does not work well for me because I keep doubting myself.”

The eldest among four children, John Carlou resides in the rural Daanbantayan town in northernmost Cebu. An incoming third-year student of political science at the University of the Philippines (UP) Cebu, he admits that he feels “alienated” and is still adjusting to the virtual set-up. He worries about his performance, especially during the heavily stressful final exams, which reflects on the grades he received last semester.

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[Press Release] SPARK joins Ateneo student strike, urge others to follow suit

#HumanRights #Education SPARK joins Ateneo student strike, urge others to follow suit

A youth group has expressed its support for the One Big Strike (OBS) mobilization to be held at the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) today, November 25.

OBS, a demonstration mainly organized by ADMU students calling for a nationwide academic break as well as accountability from government officials, will be held at Gate 2.5 of the ADMU campus this afternoon.

Samahan ng Progresibong Kabataan (SPARK) expressed its participation in the strike and confirmed that its Katipunan chapter will be present at the mobilization.

“When our backs are against the wall, we respond by fighting even harder. No amount of threats from President Duterte or his spokesperson Harry Roque can stop us from criticizing them,” Red Ligot, SPARK national coordinator, declared in a statement.

Among OBS’s minimum education demands, as listed in the Ateneo Student Strike Manifesto, are the sustention of salaries of all teaching and non-teaching personnel during the academic break, as well as providing subsidies to students, teachers, and their families to acquire the necessary gadgets and Internet connection for use in distance learning.

SPARK stated that these demands were “common sense” and should have been implemented right at the start of distance learning in March.
“If education is a right, why are the tools to access it so inaccessible themselves? Why were classes forced through when CHEd and DepEd knew the problems that preexisted?” Ligot asked, referring to the demand to subsidize gadgets and internet connections.

Furthermore, SPARK called for similar mobilizations on a nationwide scale in order to raise the calls for a better normal for education.
“The problems that plague the students and teachers of ADMU are not limited to ADMU alone. The scale of [President] Duterte and [CHEd Chairperson] de Vera’s neglect is national, then our response must be national as well,” Ligot explained.

He argued that the sheer scale and degree to which distance learning has been mishandled has only led to everyone getting left behind.
“If our demands remain unheeded, there will only be more drastic mobilizations, strikes, and full-scale class boycotts are in order,” he warned.

SPARK continues to advocate sweeping structural changes to the country’s education system along with policies such as greater social aid for students, teachers, and their families, and the nationalization of the telecommunications and power industries to ensure accessibility of education under the new normal.

SPARK says they plan to join the Bonifacio Day mobilizations on November 30 with labor unions, urban poor federations and vendors associations.###

#NoStudentLeftBehind

#AcademicBreakNow

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[Statement] Academic break, suportado ng mga guro -TDC

#HumanRights #Education Academic break, suportado ng mga guro

Nagpahayag ng suporta sa mga panawagan ng deklarasyon ng academic break ang Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) upang makatulong umano sa pagbangon ng mga pamilyang nasalanta ng magkakasunod na kalamidad nitong buwan. Ayon sa TDC, bago pa man magkaroon ng sunud-sunod na bagyo ay may ilang paaralan na ang nagpatupad ng academic break kagaya ng Philippine Science High School (PCSHS), sa kasalukuyan naman ay ipinatutupad ng University of the Philippines (UP) ang suspensiyon ng lahat ng klase at anumang academic activtites mula Nobyember 16 hanggang 21. Samantala, ang lungsod ng Marikina ay nagdeklara ng suspensiyon ng klase hanggang saa Disyembre 16.

“Yung academic ease na sinasabi ng DepEd ay hindi sapat dahil may mga gawaing pampaaralan pa rin ang mga bata na kailangang gabayan ng kanilang mga magulang. Hindi ito praktikal sa panahong hindi pa lubos na nakakaahon ang mga apektado ng bagyo at baha, uunahin pa ba nila ang pagsagot sa module o pagdalo sa online class sa halip na maghanap ng makakain o maglinis ng bahay na nalubog sa putik?” Pahayag ni Benjo Basas, National Chairperson ng TDC.

Ayon sa DepEd ay hindi na umano nito maaaring mapagbigyan ang ganitong kahilingan sapagkat nauna nang na-adjust ang school calendar at ito ay magtatapos sa Hunyo 2021.

“Kung ang ilang mga institusyon gaya ng UP ay nagpatupad ng academic break, bakit hindi ito magagawa ng DepEd at CHED sa mga lugar na matinding naapektuhan ng kalamidad? Noon ngang bago pa tumama ang bagyo sa tingin ko ay kailangan ng pahinga ng mga bata, magulang at guro, lalo na ngayon na walang internet, kuryente at tubig at maaaring nalubog sa tubig ang modules at gadgets. Hindi naman ito maaaring ibilad lang at plantsahin,” pagtatapos ni Basas.

Inaasahan pa rin ng TDC na maikukunsidera ng DepEd ang pagpapatupad ng academic break hanggang sa Nobyemre 30. #

Reference:
Benjo Basas, TDC National Chairperson
09273356375
Teachers’ Dignity Coalition
STATEMENT
November 18, 2020

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[Press Release] Mga Guro, muling nanawagan na itigil na ang produksiyon ng modules -TDC

#HumanRights #Education Mga Guro, muling nanawagan na itigil na ang produksiyon ng modules

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

Dalawang linggo matapos ang pagbubukas ng klase noong Oktubre 5, muling nanawagan ang Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) sa Department of Education (DepEd) na ipatigil na ang pag-iimprenta ng modules na ginagamit ngayon sa mga pampublikong paaralan.

“Sapat na ang dalawang linggo para makita natin at mapatunayan na hindi talaga uubra ang modules na ito. Napakalaki na ng ginugugol na halaga para dito ngunit hanggang ngayon ay hindi pa rin ito sapat. Maliban pa sa nakita nating problema sa kung paano ito isasagawa ng ating mga mag-aaral at kanilang mga magulang. Sana naman ay ikonsidera na ng DepEd ang agarang pagpapatigil sa produksiyon nito upang maisalba rin ang malaking halagang maaaring masayang mula sa buwis ng taumbayan,” pahayag ni Benjo Basas, national chairperson ng TDC.

Ayon pa kay Basas, maliban sa maraming nakitang mga pagkakamali sa learning modules ay hindi pa maayos ang pagkakaimprenta ng marami dito sapagkat nagkanya-kanya ang mga paaralan sa pag-iimprenta. Matatandaang noon pang kalagitnaan ng Setyembre ay nanawagan na ang grupo na huwag nang gumamit ng modules dahil sa malaking gastos dito at sa halip ay gumamit na lamang ng mga aklat na mas matibay at mas matipid.

Sinabi rin ng grupo na ito ay isang patunay lamang na hindi talaga nakahanda ang ahenisya taliwas sa paulit-ulit nitong mga pahayag.

“Sabi ng DepEd ay handang-handa na sila sa pasukan at itinuring pang tagumpay ang pagbubukas ng klase. Pero bakit ganito ang nangyari? Bakit hindi pa nakahanda ang modules na bandang huli ay DepEd Central Office din mismo ang nagsabi na nahihirapang makaagapay ang mga mag-aaral. Sa lahat ng pagkukulang na ito ng DepEd, mga guro ang nagdusa, mula pag-aabono sa modules, reklamo ng mga magulang at sobrang bigat na mga gawain,” dagdag pa ni Basas.

Ayon pa sa TDC, dapat umanong agarang gumawa ng pahayag at polisiya ang DepEd na iniuurong na ang paggagawa ng modules alinsunod na rin sa mga naunang pahayag ni Sec. Leonor Briones.

“Si Sec. Briones na mismo ang nagsabi na magastos at may malaking implikasyon sa kapaligiran ang paggamit ng modules, baka raw maubos ang mga puno natin dahil sa malaking pangangailangan sa papel. Yun naman pala eh, bakit kailangan pang ipilit nang ipilit ito?” Tanong ni Basas.

Ang panawagan sa paggamit ng mga aklat sa halip na modules ay pormal na ring naisumite ng TDC sa dalawang kapulungan ng Kongreso maging sa Malacanang bago pa man magbukas ang klase noong Oktubre 5.#

Para sa mga detalye:
Benjo Basas, National Chairperson
09273356375/ 09230819750

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[Press Release] TDC pinuri ang DEPED sa planong bawasan ang gawain ng mga bata, ngunit hiniling din na tingnan ang kalagayan ng mga guro

#HumanRights #Education TDC pinuri ang DEPED sa planong bawasan ang gawain ng mga bata, ngunit hiniling din na tingnan ang kalagayan ng mga guro

Ikinatuwa ng mga guro ang pahayag ng Department of Education (DepEd) na babawasan umano ang mga gawain ng mga mag-aaral na nasa ilalim ng modular distance learning modality. Ito ang naging tugon ng kagawaran sa mga reklamo mula sa mga mag-aaral, magulang at maging mga guro na natatambakan umano ng maraming gawain at nahihirapan nang husto ang mga bata sa modular learning.

“Ikinalulugod namin ang pahayag na ito ng DepEd at umaasa kami na ipagpapatuloy pa rin nila ang pagtatasa sa mga polisiya,” ani Benjo Basas, National Chairperson ng Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC).

Ayon kay Basas ay marami pa umanong dapat repasuhin sa mga polisiya ng DepEd ukol sa distance learning modality na isinulong ng ahensiya bilang tugon sa pandemya.

“Sapagkat nasa gitna tayo ng krisis dulot ng pandemya, dapat lamang na magkaroon tayo ng konsiderasyon sa lahat lalo na sa mga bata at kanilang pamilya na maaaring limitado ang kapasidad pang-ekonomiya at pang-akademiko,” dagdag pa ni Basas.

Ayon pa rin sa kanya ay kinikilala nila ang naging hakbang ng DepEd nitong mga nakalipas na linggo mula sa pagbabago sa assessment at maging sa criteria sa grading. Matatandaan na hindi na magkakaroon ng periodical test ang mga bata at binago na rin ang sistema sa pagbibigay ng grado sa mga mag-aaral.

Gayunman, dapat sanang tutukan din umano ng ahensiya ang kalagayan ng mga guro na mula pa noong Hunyo ay subsob na sa iba’t ibang trabaho mula sa Brigada Eskwela, enrollment, weekly accomplishment reports, webinars at online meetings, module preparation at distribution at hanggang sa mga gawaing pagtuturo- online at modular mula nitong Oktubre 5.

Samantala, sinabi rin ni Basas na hindi umano makatarungan na tila ang mga guro ang nasisisi kapwa ng mga magulang at ng pamunuan ng DepEd sa mga kamalian sa modules at maging sa maraming gawain ng mga bata.

“Matapos sumalo sa napakaraming reklamo ng mga magulang at madla dahil sa samu’t saring kalituhan, mga guro pa rin ang sinisisi sa mga kamalian sa modules na hindi naman sila ang gumawa o hindi sila ang dapat na gumawa. Ngayon naman, nang makitang nabibigatan ang maraming mag-aaral sa modular activities, pinaalalahanan ng DepEd ang mga guro na huwag umanong tambakan ng mga gawain ang mga bata na tila ba mga guro ang nagdesisyon sa nilalaman ng modules na ito,” paliwanag ni Basas.

Ayon kay Basas, ang mga ito ay indikasyon lamang na may mas malalim pang problemang dapat tugunan ang DepEd hinggil sa distance learning modality. Nagpapatunay din umano ito na hindi lubusang napaghandaan ang pagbubukas ng klase taliwas sa mga pahayag ng DepEd na nakahanda umano ang ahensiya kahit naituloy ito noong Agosto 24.

“Siguro ang mga ito ay patunay lamang na may problema talaga sa pagpipilit sa pormal na pagbubukas ng klase para sa school year 2020-2021. Ngayon sa nakikita natin at kung magpapatuloy ito, baka masayang lamang ang effort ng DepEd at mga guro pati na ang napakalaking perang inilaan para sa modules dahil mukhang mahihirapan tayong maibigay sa mga bata ang kinakailangang edukasyon at mahihirapan naman ang mga bata at kanilang pamilya na makaagapay sa bagong sistemang ito,” pagtatapos ni Basas.

Ayon sa TDC ang mga adjustments na ginawa nang DepEd ay mahalaga at dapat ipagpatuloy upang matiyak na walang batang maiiwan. Handa umano ang kanilang grupo na makipagtulungan sa DepEd para sa kapakanan ng mga batang Pilipino.#

Para sa detalye:
Benjo Basas, National Chairperson
09273356375

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[Press Release] First Week of School Year, chaos instead of success -TDC

#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.

For details:
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
Email: teachersdignity@yahoo.com.ph

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[Press Release] Teachers urge DEPED to impose work-from-home scheme, disputes victory remark on school opening -TDC

Teachers urge DEPED to impose work-from-home scheme, disputes victory remark on school opening

Last Monday’s school opening was marred with problems from lack of modules to internet connectivity issues, unfortunately, these are the main- if not the only modes of teaching and learning under distance learning modality, the DepEd’s way to address the educational needs of the children amidst the pandemic. Despite this, however, DepEd Chief Leonor Magtolis-Briones declares Monday opening as “Victory against COVID-19” which she describes as ‘destroyer.’

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.

“A mere imposition of the beginning of another school year amidst the pandemic is not a victory against pandemic, in fact it could worsen the situation because of the requirement for public interaction. In terms of education, we could actually foresee that there’s a lot of Filipino children that will be left behind and it is evident by Monday’s unfortunate events,” said Benjo Basas the group’s national chairperson.

Basas furthered that teachers were being sacrificed just to beat the self-imposed October 5 deadline of the DepEd, “Out of their own pockets, they are forced to buy laptops, phones, printers, ink, bond papers, and internet data or subscribe for a better internet connection. The modules or at least the fund for production and reproduction was delayed that many schools and teachers were forced to raise money to be able to meet the requirements of DepEd. Some of them resorted to online solicitations- even barter. Still, many are forced to personally finance these modules. The DepEd also disregarded the welfare provision of the Magna Carat for teachers particularly those that aimed to protect our teachers’ health and safety.”

The TDC also hit the DepEd for failure to impose its own rules that set the work-from-home scheme as the default work arrangement for the employees especially teachers whose task is teaching. The group said that many teachers were required to report physically to their schools in varied schemes, some are once a week while others on an everyday basis. TDC added that these arrangements are highly discouraged, if not prohibited by the DepEd rules on alternative work arrangement (AWA) under DepEd Order No. 11 s. 2020 that made even in clear in the subsequent memorandum issued by Undersecretaries Revsee A. Escobedo and Jesus L.R. Mateo on June 22, 2020, and the specific replies of Hon. Escobedo addressed to TDC Secretary-General Emmalyn Policarpio dated July 9, 2020, and August 9, 2020.

Last October 2, the TDC thru Ms. Policarpio again brought the matter to the attention of Sec. Briones and formally seek for clarification on the physical reporting beginning October 5. In a letter addressed to the Secretary and furnished the respective offices of Mateo and Escobedo, Policarpio said, “While we recognize that there are circumstances that would necessitate physical reporting, the same shall not be done on a daily basis and shall not involve all the teachers, especially in a manner contrary to the existing rules. It is somewhat illogical to require the physical presence of classroom teachers when we are implementing distance learning modalities- modular or online. The tasks of a classroom teacher are identified in her weekly home learning plan (WHLP) and most of those tasks, if not all can be done remotely. Thus, we earnestly request the DepEd Central Office to take a look at this practice in the field and remind the officials to abide by the policies of the agency.”

Meanwhile, according to the TDC, many of the reported cases of violations to DepEd’s AWA are coming from CALABARZON region.

Richie Salubre, president of TDC CALABARZON Teachers’ Union said that they have received several complaints from the teachers specifically from the provinces of Cavite and Quezon that they are required to physically report every day.

“These schools are violating the letters and intent of the DepEd Order and even the Civil Service Commission (CSC) and IATF rules. The scheme they use defeats the purpose of the national government to limit the physical movement of the people and puts the national effort on COVID response in a mockery,” Salubre, a teacher in Dasmarinas City said.

Salubre explained that the Order was issued following the declaration of a state of national emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which was recently extended by the President for another year. “Some parts of the country are still under different quarantine categories that limit the access to public transportation and physical movement of the people, measures adopted by the national government in its effort to prevent the further transmission of COVID-19,” Salubre added.

Salubre said that they have recently resolved a similar issue thru local coordination and will be willing to do so to avoid further conflict between the teachers and the school administrators, but when things get worse, they will be forced to file formal complaint at the Central Office.

“These cases are not unique in CALABARZON, it also happens in other regions, even in Metro Manila. We have compiled all of those reported cases as early as June and they continue until today. Once and for all, the DepEd must prove that they can make policies and able to implement the same,” Salubre ended.

The TDC concluded that while teachers face severe adversities, DepEd conveniently declared victory in another display of insensitivity and disregard for the welfare of its front-liners- the teachers.

For details:
Emmalyn Policarpio, 0923-0819751
Richie Salubre, 0921-3880309
Benjo Basas, 0927-3356375

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[Statement] Support our teachers by providing laptops and communication allowance -TDC

Support our teachers by providing laptops and communication allowance

Few days before the formal schooling resumes on Monday, DepEd management is still mum on the teachers’ concerns on their needed assistance in terms of communication and technology in order to facilitate the distance learning modality.

Teachers today have absolutely no choice but to spend at least ₱1,500 monthly on internet connection alone to be able to fulfill their duties to their learners numbering in several hundred. Video conferences, text messages, calls, surfing, downloading, and uploading materials, all of these now define this era, and COVID-19 has made this digital learning tenfold a necessity. But teachers are supplied neither service laptops nor internet allowances. Out of their own pockets, they are forced to buy not only laptops but android phones, external drives, USB drives, printers, ink, and reams of bond paper. And it does not end with buying this equipment; laptops, especially, would need to be repaired sooner or later for burned motherboards, broken keyboards, damaged screens, dead batteries, etc. Printers have a thousand things that could go wrong so soon after purchase. And being “personal” equipment, repairs and parts replacements will have to be shouldered—yet once again—by teachers.

While some LGUs are able to pitch-in on equipment like laptops once in a while, the DepEd must fulfill its mandate, take charge, and end all this injustice of the majority of teachers having to steal from their own families just to provide good education to other people’s children. Related to this, the DepEd has yet to clarify as well its claims on the 93% of schools supplied with gadgets. How many “gadgets” per school, what sort of gadgets, and which schools? This claim has got much thinking about what the claim was all about, given that most of our teachers have never heard of any colleague receiving one of these gadgets.

Last September 15, the DepEd released a memorandum stating that the agency is preparing for the provision of connectivity and communications expenses for its employees. The memorandum, however, sets conditions on who among teachers could avail of the incentive. Worse, the deadline for the activation of the DepEd Commons account, the sole requirement to qualify, was scheduled last September 21. While the TDC appreciates this effort, we would suggest that the internet data allowance be given to all teachers and employees without conditions or deadlines. Obviously, everybody in the DepEd is badly in need of internet data, be it in bytes or equivalent in cash.

Reference:
Benjo Basas, National Chairperson
0923-0819750/09273356375

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[Statement] Consider the use of books and stop producing expensive modules -TDC

Consider the use of books and stop producing expensive modules

If it has been scientifically determined that modules should be the main delivery system replacing textbooks, there needs to be one standard method for creating them. We are supposed to have specialists and experts in the Central and Regional offices who should design them. But divisions are being compelled to draw Plan Bs as it becomes more and more clear that Central Office will not be able to deliver on time. Now, we have modules from the Central Office and modules from the divisions and even schools. Which one takes precedence then? This is not a simple “left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing”, the left-hand doesn’t know what it’s doing itself either! But the right hand isn’t doing so well either, leaving the burden now on who else, but teachers!

Realities on the ground are embarrassing. Schools produce their own modules and actually raise funds to be able to meet the requirements of DepEd. Some of our teachers now resorting to online solicitations— even barter. This is outright begging. Simple mendicancy. Still, many are forced to personally finance these modules- materials that are supposedly state-funded.

Yet, in the end, and 9 billion pesos later, the readiness of the system, even for the first quarter is proving to be but a myth. Because of this shortage, there are even reported cases of schools resorting to scheme where modules will be shared by two groups of learners. Based on a survey that we have conducted thru social media, most schools have ready materials only for the first two weeks up to the first month of the coming school year.

Recently, Secretary Leonor Briones herself stated in a news conference that the use of modules would have an impact on the environment and will put too many trees in danger aside from being very expensive. Of course, we want to see this pronouncement in terms of policies. We adjure the DepEd to use the printed books instead of modules and supply the necessary activity sheets or lesson guides (physical or digital). We, therefore, propose to halt further production of modules for the second quarter and the rest of the school year. And since many teachers claimed that they produced their own materials and actually spent for those, accounting for the initial fund allocation is needed.

Reference:
Benjo Basas, TDC National Chairperson

0923-0819750/ 0927-3356375

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[Press Release] TDC, hinimok ang DEPED na ipatigil muna ang produksiyon ng self-learning modules

TDC, hinimok ang DEPED na ipatigil muna ang produksiyon ng self-learning modules

Dalawang linggo bago ang itinakdang pagbubukas ng klase sa Oktubre 5, hinimok ngayon ng grupong Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) ang pamunuan ng Department of Education (DepEd) na ipatigil muna ang produksiyon ng modules na gagamitin sa distance learning modality ngayong taong pampaaralan. Ayon sa grupo ay kailangan umanong mapag-aralang mabuti at masuri ang praktikalidad ng paggamit ng mga modules bago ituloy ang produksiyon nito.

“Sinasabi ng DepEd na handang-handa na sila sa pasukan pero iba ang mga ulat na nakakarating sa atin, ang mga nakikita natin at ang araw-araw na dinaranas ng ating mga guro sa field. Malinaw po na hindi pa nakahanda sa pasukan kung ang modules ang pagbabatayan,” ayon kay Benjo Basas, National Chairperson ng TDC.

Ayon pa kay Basas, bagamat nais na rin nilang matuloy ang pasukan sa Oktubre 5 ay hindi umano mawawala ang agam-agam sa mga guro at magulang dahilan sa hanggang ngayon ay hindi pa rin kumpleto ang mga modules kahit yaong para sa first grading period lamang.

“Kung hindi pa naman napi-print ang modules for second quarter, mas mainam na itigil muna ang printing nito, kung sakaling matuloy man ang pagbubukas ng klase sa Oktubre 5, maaaring gamitin ang mga available na aklat at mag-imprenta na lamang ng mga kulang. Sana maisip ito ng DepEd at huwag nang pahirapan pa nang husto ang mga guro at administrador ng mga paaralan,” dagdag pa ni Basas.

Marami umanong natatanggap na ulat ang TDC na ang mga modules na naihahanda ay yaong para lamang sa unang dalawang linggo hanggang sa unang buwan. Ito’y sa kabila ng pahayag ng DepEd kamakailan na nasa 98% na ang kahandaan nila sa pamamahagi ng modules.

“Ang sa amin lang po ay huwag nang ipilit. Napakarami nang violations ang nagawa dahil sa pagpipilit na ito. May mga guro na nagsulat ng sariling modules para sa kanilang paaralan, nag-solicit ng pambili ng papel ink at printers, mayroong nakipag-barter ng halaman o dumukot ng sariling pera para makapag-produce lang ng modules. Nakaparami rin ang pinag-report sa schools para mag-photocopy at mag-sort ng modules na tila ba hindi alintana ang panganib na dala ng COVID-19. Ang lahat ng mga ito ay bawal ayon sa panuntunan ng DepEd. Pero ginagawa ito ng ating mga guro sapagkat wala nang ibang paraan kaysa maghintay sa wala,” pagpapatuloy pa ni Basas.

Aniya dapat na umanong pag-isipan ng DepEd kung gagastos pa ba ang ahensiya ng malaking halaga para sa mga modules na baka sa huli ay masasayang lamang. Matatandaang 9 bilyong piso na ang ginastos ng DepEd para sa modules lamang at humihingi pa ito ng karagdagang 15 bilyon sa susunod na taon para sa learning materials kasama na ang modules.

“Si Sec. Briones na mismo ang nagsabi na magastos at may malaking implikasyon sa kapaligiran ang paggamit ng modules, baka raw maubos ang mga puno natin dahil sa malaking pangangailangan sa papel. Yun naman pala eh, bakit kailangan pang ipilit nang ipilit ito? Bakit hindi na lamang mga libro ang ipagamit sa mga bata at gawaan na lang ilang pahinang gabay sa mga gawain?” Tanong ni Basas.

Ayon sa TDC ay patuloy silang makikipag-ugnayan sa pamunuan ng DepEd upang mapag-usapan ang isyung ito at kung hindi na naman sila pakikinggan ay muli nilang idudulog sa mga mambabatas at sa Pangulo na ipagpaliban ang pagbubukas ng klase sa Oktubre 5.

“Nakahanda naman po ang mga guro na makipagtulungan at nakahanda rin na gumampan sa mga tungkulin kung sakaling matutuloy na ang pasok sa Oktubre 5, pero sana ang kahandaang ito ay tumbasan naman ng pagmamalasakit at paglingap mula sa pamunuan ng DepEd,” pagtatapos ni Basas.

Ang posibilidad ng paggamit ng libro sa halip na modules ay inihayag na ng TDC sa isang pagdinig ng Basic Education Committee sa Senado sa pamumuno ni Sen. Win Gatchalian nitong nakaraang linggo.

Para sa mga detalye:
Benjo Basas, National Chairperson
09273356375/ 09230819750

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[Statement] Kung talagang gustong magbigay ng internet data allowance, dapat walang kondisyon -TDC

PAHAYAG
Setyembre 19, 2020

Kung talagang gustong magbigay ng internet data allowance, dapat walang kondisyon

Lahat ng guro ngayon ay nangangailangan ng internet. Hindi makagagampan sa mga tungkulin ang ating mga guro kung wala gadgets- desktop o laptop computer, tablet o smart phone. Kailangan mo rin ng printer at higit sa lahat, kailangan ng internet connection.

Hindi pa nagsisimula ang balik-eskuwela ay namuulubi na sa gastusin ang marami sa mga guro. Kailangang bumili ng sariling laptop o gadgets, kailangang magpakabit ng internet o kailangang mag-load para sa internet data at kailangang mag-load para i-text o tawagan ang mga mag-aaral at magulang.

Kaya naman, ikinatuwa natin ang ipinalabas na pahayag ng DepEd na magkakaroon ng “provision for monthly connectivity and communication expenses” para sa mga guro sa pamamagitan ng OUA Memo 0920-0124 na mula sa tanggapan ni Undersecretary Alain Pascua. Gayunman, hindi absoluto ang “incentive” na ito, bagkus may mga kondisyon. Halimbawa na lamang ay ang requirement na mag-activate sa DepEd Commons ang mga guro upang ma-qualify at ang pagtatakda ng deadline na hanggang sa Setyembre 21 na lamang.

Kung talagang sinsero ang DepEd na tulungan ang mga guro para makaagapay sa mga pagbabago at hamoon ng ‘new normal, mas mainam na ‘di hamak kung itutulak nila ang paglalaan ng Kongreso ng budget para sa libreng laptop at buwanang internet allowance para sa lahat ng guro. Marami nang mambabatas ang umayon sa panawagan nating ito, ang kulang na lamang ay ang paggigiit ng mismong pamunuan ng ating ahensiya.

Ano ba ang mayroon sa DepEd Commons at ipinagpipilitan ito sa mga guro? Hindi ba at kusa naman natin itong ginagamit? Kung papaanong kusa rin nating ginagamit ang anumang available online resources na alam nating makakatulong sa ating pagtuturo?

Laging paalala sa atin ng DepEd na dapat ay WALANG BATANG MAIIWAN, pero bakit sa kanilang mga programa ay MARAMING GURO ANG NAIIWAN?

#DapatAll #FreeLaptop #InternetAllowanceIbigay #WalangKondisyon

For details:
Emmalyn Policarpio, Secretary-General
0923-0819751

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[Statement] Dapat maresolba ang mga problema sa modular learning at self-learning modules bago pa ito paggugulan ng malaking pondo -TDC

PAHAYAG
Setyembre 15, 2020

Dapat maresolba ang mga problema sa modular learning at self-learning modules bago pa ito paggugulan ng malaking pondo

Kamakailan ay sinabi ni Secretary Liling Briones ng DepEd, “May implikasyon ang dependence sa modular learning dahil baka uubusin natin ang mga puno natin sa kaka-produce. ‘Yung demand for paper… malaki ang effect sa environment. In the long run, modular is really expensive.”

Mahihinuha sa pahayag na ito na mayroon talagang malaking suliraning kinakaharap ang modular approach, ang nakatakdang pamamaraang gagamitin sa pagtuturo ng mga guro simula ngayong Oktubre 5.

Nauna na nating inihayag ang mga sumusunod na usapin hinggil dito:

1. Hindi matukoy sa field kung sino ba talaga ang magsusulat ng modules;

2. Mayroong ilang sets na ng modules na ginawa sa ilang distrito at dibisyon maliban pa yaong magmumula sa Central Office;

3. Hindi naglaan ng sapat na badyet para sa produksiyon ng modules na nagtulak sa mga guro para maglunsad ng fund-raising at solicitation;

4. Walang inilaang manpower at ang mga guro ang inaasahang mag-reproduce, mag-sort/stapler at mag-distribute ng modules;

5. May ilang paaralan na magiging salitan ang paggamit ng modules (Set A/Set B) na patunay ng kakulangan nito;

6. May posibilidad na maging carrier ng virus ang modules na ito;

7. Sobrang laking gastos (9 bilyong piso) na ang inilaan ng DepEd subalit hindi pa rin ito kumpleto;

8. May ilang kongresista na ang pumuna sa paraang ito ng DepEd;

9. Ano ang gagawin sa modules na ito kung sakaling sa second quarter ay maaari nang isagawa ang limited face to face class o magbalik na sa normal ang sitwasyon (harinawa);

10. Maaari namang gamitin ang mga libro na mayroon na tayo ngayon (i-produce na lang ang wala pa) at gumawa na lamang ng mga ilang pahinang guide sa mga mag-aaral na nakabatay sa MELC na tiyak na mas matipid. Mabilis at ligtas.

Malapit na ang Oktubre 5 at sa ganang amin, nais na rin naming maituloy ang pagbubukas ng klase subalit nananatili ang aming pakiusap sa pamunuan ng DepEd na ikonsidera na ang mga puntong ito at iba pang mga usaping may kinalaman sa school year 2020-2021.

Muli, kung talagang gusto ng DepEd na magabayan sa mga polisiyang nais nilang ipatupad, sana ay kabilang ang hanay ng mga guro sa kanilang kinakausap. Yaong mga gurong maaaring magsabi ng tapat at mga katotohanang nagaganap sa ibaba. Malaki ang maaaring maiambag ng mga simpleng guro sa pagbalangkas, lalo sa pagpapatupad ng mga polisiya, kaya marapat lamang na kunin ang kanilang opinyon at damdamin hinggil sa mga isyu at huwag ituring na lamang na mga tagapagpatupad na ang tanging gagawin ay sumunod.

Sapagkat sa bandang huli, ang anumang pagkukulang sa mga polisiya, sa badyet at sa pagpapatupad ng lahat ng plano, ang pobreng guro ang magpupuno. #

-Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC)
Setyembre 15, 2020

Reference:
Benjo Basas, National Chair
09272256375/09230818750

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[Statement] TDC reaction on the calls for academic freeze

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

TDC reaction on the calls for academic freeze

“Sa simula pa lamang ay naniniwala na kami na Enero 2021 ang pinakaligtas at pinakahandang panahon para sa pagbubukas ng klase. Gamitin ang ilang buwang ito upang ihanda ang mga pangangailangan at bigyan ng pagsasanay ang mga guro at magulang at magbigay ng alternatibong paraan sa pag-aaral ang mga kabataan- samakatuwid ay hindi masasayang ang oras Gayunman, mula nang iatras ang Agosto 24 at gawin itong Oktubre 5, gusto naming bigyan ng pagkakataon ang DepEd sa mga ginagawa nitong paghahanda at kami man ay nakikiisa sa mga paghahandang ito. Subalit sa huli, hindi ang kagustuhan, ni ang kahandaan ang DepEd ang mapagpasya kundi ang sitwasyon ng pandemya at ang krisis na dulot nito.”

Reference:
Benjo Basas, TDC National Chairperson
09273356375

 

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[Statement] Reaksiyon ng TDC sa pahayag ng DEPED hinggil sa selected face to face learning

Reaksiyon ng TDC sa pahayag ng DEPED hinggil sa selected face to face learning

Isa lamang itong patunay na hanggang ngayon ay hindi pa lubos na nakalatag ang plano sa pasukan bagamat malapit na ang takda nitong magbukas. At sa aming palagay ay napakadelikado pa ng face to face classes sa mga lugar na mababa o kahit pa walang kaso ng COVID-19. Nakita na natin ito sa mga nakaraang polisiya na kung biglang magluluwag ay mae-expose sa pagkalat ng virus ang mga mamamayan gaya ng nging resulta ng balik-probinsiya program.

Ang mas dapat sanang tutukan ng DepEd at ng pamahalaan ay kung paano gagawing maayos ang mga pamamaraan para sa distance learning modality gaya ng online, radio/TV broadcast o maging ang modular approach. Lahat ng mga ito ay hindi pa rin handa hanggang sa kasalukuyan samantala isang buwan na lang at magbubukas na ang klase.

Sana naman bago ang mga pinal na pagpapasya hinggil sa class opening ay maikonsidera ang kahandaan ng sistema at ang kaligtasan ng mga bata, guro at lahat ng mga mamamayan.

For details:
Benjo Basas, National Chairperson
0927-3356375
Teachers’ Dignity Coalition
4443 BCL Homes, Independence St., Gen. T. De Leon Valenzuela City
Telephone (02) 6920-296 • Mobile: 0916-6126739
Email: teachersdignity@yahoo.com.ph • Website: http://www.teachersdignity.com

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[Statement] Stable internet connection: crucial in education new normal -ASSERT

Stable internet connection: crucial in education new normal

Building the needed internet infrastructure is crucial for education in the new normal to succeed.

DepEd is missing this point.

The sorry state of our internet connection is the number one hindrance in ensuring access and equity in education today. Gadgets and laptops, ICT tools, and webinars will only work favorably with stable wifi access. Even the much flaunted DepEd Commons is useless without a reliable internet connection.

To date, Philippine’s internet speed is at 15.1 Mbps while the global average is at 26.12 Mbps. We ranked 103rd out of 139 countries. Sixty-one percent (61%) of the 23 million households in the country have no internet access. Our current internet users already account for 43.5% of the total population. Add to this the bulk of the 27 million students of basic education and the almost one million teachers who will be forced to use the internet to access learning and resources. This is a very big volume of users. It is simply impossible for the current state of internet connection to accommodate. Imagine the internet traffic we will all be experiencing and its adverse effect on online learning and other internet-dependent facets of life and work.

Blended learning, with its so many missing details, just highlights the gap in education access. If you are poor, learn through radio programs and printed modules. If you have the means, enjoy easy access through online and digital tools. To date, DepEd Commons boasts of 7million subscribers. That is a mere 25.9% of the 27 million students of basic public education. Even if the disadvantaged learners are able to access online lessons they will just be left on their own. Their parents are at work during the day and they cannot afford to pay for tutors.

The goal of education and the government should be to electrify the countryside and build the needed internet infrastructure. They should target providing free wifi to barangays so all learner households could have online access. Targeting the schools could come later since the face-to-face mode is not encouraged. From here, it could come up with specific targets and timeframes until every barangay is electrified and has a strong internet connection.

All efforts and formula for education in the new normal will come to naught if the government does not decisively address this glaring need.###

#AddressClassDivideInEducation
#AdressGapsInEducationNewNormal
#InsureAccessToEducation

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[Statement] On the August 24 ‘new normal’ school opening: address the gaps and fulfill basic requisites first -ASSERT

On the August 24 ‘new normal’ school opening: address the gaps and fulfill basic requisites first

DEPED is poised on opening this school year on August 24 amidst confusion and disarray on the ground.

Parents are opting not to send their children to school pending vaccine and assurance of safety against the contagion. Teachers and school heads could not answer the queries of parents and students about the details of the ‘new normal’ and multi-modal learning that DepEd is announcing. The August 24 opening is anchored on so many questions and uncertainties.

The date is incidental. When do we really say ‘we are ready?’ DepEd should make clear its benchmark and accomplish it. Uncertainty hangs over because DepEd pronouncements are not substantiated. Nothing is moving on the ground.

How do we insure the health protocols in schools? How would social distancing be implemented? Will there be shifting of classes? Do we get more teachers and have more classrooms to meet the 15 – 20 class size?

When 61% of 23 million households have no internet connection and 74% of the 47,013 schools have no internet access, how do we proceed with the online learning?
What infrastructures should be put up for the multi-modal learning? What do we do in areas with no electricity and no internet? How would rural population fare in multi-modal?

What trainings of teachers should be accomplished for online and digital tools? When would they be trained? What orientation and training should be given to parents so they are equipped in assisting in the home learning of children?

What is the plan for small private schools which have been complementing the government’s task of providing education and could no longer cope up with the demands of maintaining their schools?

Two months have passed but to date, there is no clarity yet on how to move forward. It is only now that DepEd is conducting survey among teachers, students and parents. DepEd’s responses to queries are so vague and all the more left us groping in the dark.

With these uncertainties, we support the plan of Senate Committee on Basic Education proposal to amend the law declaring August 24 as the latest day allowed for a school year to open. But this move should be back up by clear cut targets and standards on when to declare ‘we are ready.’

At the minimum, it is crucial that the following be addressed asap:
1. Conduct mass testing for teachers.
2. Speed up the requisites for multi-modal learning (broadcast platforms like radio and television, internet among others).
3. Build the needed infrastructure – internet connections and electrification of all schools in remote provinces.
4. Provide teachers with required gadgets and equipment – laptops and computers, digital notebooks and tablets.
5. Conduct massive and intensive teachers’ training on online platforms, digital tools and other alternative modes.
6. Trim the curriculum to focus on the core subjects and core competencies.
7. Develop and enhance the alternative learning system (ALS) as venue for learning and mechanism for moving up to higher level.
8. Encourage cooperation and partnerships among schools and local government units especially in putting up educational infrastructures.
9. Clinch support and sponsorships from private corporations engaged in digital tools, internet providers, telecommunications and social media entities.
10. Provide realistic and accessible mechanisms to engage organizations of all stakeholders: teachers, students and parents in reshaping education.
11. Ease the economic burden of teachers so they can be effective partners in reshaping education: a) give social amelioration for teachers of private schools affected by no work-no pay policy and all teachers who have become the sole bread winners; b) provide hazard pay to teachers.
12. For budgetary requirements, appropriations for debt payments could be realigned in favor of education needs.

The pandemic forced DEpEd to usher in innovations that should have been made years before. Now, it should get its act together and step up to decisively address all the gaps and inequities.

In ‘new normal’ education, the challenge is still the same – provide ‘education for all’ and make sure that ‘no one is left behind.’

https://www.facebook.com/notes/assert/on-the-august-24-new-normal-school-opening-address-the-gaps-and-fulfill-basic-re/125075982527223/

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[Video] Ibang Klase: Onlayn talakayan tungkol sa edukasyon sa gitna ng CoViD19 -iDEFEND & PAHRA

Ibang Klase

Onlayn talakayan tungkol sa edukasyon sa gitna ng CoViD19.

Action and Solidarity for the Empowerment of Teachers
(ASSERT)

Teachers Dignity Coalition
(TDC)

KAISA-UP

Student Council Alliance of the Philippines
(SCAP)

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[From the web] Education in the New Normal: Address Inequities and Gaps to Insure Accessibility While Transitioning to Digital, Virtual Mode -ASSERT

Education in the New Normal: Address Inequities and Gaps to Insure Accessibility While Transitioning to Digital, Virtual Mode

We should have been alarmed when covid19 deaths in China, the country of origin of the virus, started to fill the news. But our government just took it for granted. It continues with the ‘business as usual’ attitude totally downplaying the potential damage it might bring.

WHO declared it as pandemic on March 11. The government declared Luzon lockdown on March 15. Then we started to witness how ill-prepared the government was to deal with the crisis. The only defined response was the lockdown and the passing of the law granting emergency powers to the President.

The people are helpless as they wait for the promised social amelioration that is delivered in trickles.

As we restlessly count days quarantined in our homes, we witness its continued exponential spread across the globe disrupting all facets of life. The global economy stopped. Festivities canceled. Religious practices disrupted. International sports events backtracked. Cultural activities put on hold.

Education is as gravely affected.

Disruptions and impact

The country-wide closures affected 1,578,657,884 learners accounting for 90.2% of total enrolled in 191 countries.

In the Philippines, basic public schools numbering 47,013 suspended classes disrupting the lives of 22,746,855 students. Examinations suspended. Rites that mark milestones in students’ learning journeys are canceled.

DepEd encouraged home-based learning using its Deped commons platform to catch up with lessons and compensate for lost school days. But this mode is highly dependent on the internet, computers, and tablets. Imagine how students would fare when 61% of 23 million households have no internet connections. Those with wifi suffer from the endless intermittent signals. Though 60.1% of the Philippine population is online, these are mostly mobile phone users.

To date, Philippine education is still in limbo. The only thing definite is that there is no going back.

The pandemic highlights class divides and inadequacies

For so long, Philippine education is in crisis. It is reflective of the situation of society in general. The litany of shortages, inefficiency, and corruption stunted its development. And are past curriculum changes and methods even relevant to the real demands of the times?

Covid19 exposed the skew in education.

Only the middle and upper strata have access to the internet, mobile phones, laptops, and computers. During the lockdown, they continue to have access to lessons. High-paying private schools easily shifted to online-based platforms and digital tools.
The rest wallow in deprivation. These are the students of urban and rural poor: children of peasants, indigenous peoples, workers, daily wage earners, and informal settlers. Quarantined with their parents and siblings and no school day to look forward to, they just idly and anxiously wait for food rations and relief. Accessing Deped commons is the least of their concerns.

The majority of those counted in 61% of the online population are mere cellphone users. Most belong to the 61% of 23 million households and 74% of the 47,013 schools with no internet access.

Teachers’ mindset and attitude towards technology and digital tools should also be addressed. The concept of ‘teachers’ as knowledge-source no longer holds true when a world of information is just a click away. Most public school teachers do not even have laptops and computers and whose access to the online world is mostly through Facebook. They are ‘digital migrants.’ Students are ‘digital natives.’ The virtual world is an extension of the learner’s life. Students are adept and fearless in exploring the online world. Teachers are just starting to understand it.

Multi-modal approach while transitioning to online and digital tools
On a positive note, the pandemic ushered in long-time needed innovations.
Clearly, virtual learning will be the dominant mode as we continue to battle with covid19. In fact, other Asian countries like China, Singapore, and Hongkong have long started with the use of online and digital tools.

Online platforms abound and have been here even before covid19. There is google classroom, zoom, FB live, and WhatsApp. There is also TED@Home which is so rich in learning resources. Students can even access DIY videos of almost anything. Learning could just be anywhere anytime.

Internet and communications technology have been revolutionizing education. Online and digital innovations are reshaping learning modes. Physical classroom set-up will soon be a thing of the past.

We are not prepared. But we have to adapt fast.

Addressing Inequities and Gaps is Crucial to Moving Forward

As the calendar for the next school year is yet to be decided, DepEd needs to step up. The government must support the financial requirements for a radically changed landscape of Philippine education.

In this light, we put forward the following:
1. Speed up the requisites for multi-modal learning (broadcast platforms like radio and television, internet among others).
2. Build the needed infrastructure – internet connections and electrification of all schools in remote provinces.
3. Provisions for gadgets and equipment – laptops and computers, digital notebooks, and tablets.
4. Onboard the teachers asap to the new mode. Conduct massive and intensive teachers’ training on online platforms and digital tools.
5. Ensure that curriculums are relevant. Review core subjects and core competencies.
6. Develop and enhance the alternative learning system (ALS) as a venue for learning and mechanism for moving up to a higher level.
7. Encourage cooperation and partnerships among schools and local government units especially in putting up educational infrastructures.
8. Explore support and sponsorships from private corporations engaged in digital tools, internet providers, telecommunications and social media entities.
9. Engage existing organizations of all stakeholders, especially teachers, students, and parents in reshaping education.
10. The new mode requires a bigger finance allocation. Appropriations for debt payments could be realigned in favor of education as a basic social service.

In the ‘new normal’ mode, changes are occurring in the same neoliberal paradigm
Internet, digital tools and online platforms are the same platforms for cultural aggression. The virtual mode is a fertile ground for decadent attitudes to flourish. It offers information overload rather than nurture critical thinking.

Thus, we should be vigilant against individualism, competition, commercialization, corruption, and consumerism. Let us continue to teach the skills the students need in surviving this world: informed decision making, creative problem solving, and adaptability.

The mode of learning will be changed but the orientation remains the same as we persistently challenged it.

It will still be serving neoliberal ideology. This is the same paradigm that makes education consistently subservient to foreign interests and capital demands. It is always profits and markets over people and rights. Concepts of sovereignty and nationalism will continue to be diffused.

Hence, as we transition to the ‘new normal,’ the progressive section of educators should make sure that the core values we cherish and fight for remain: human and women’s rights, genuine democracy, solidarity, rule of law, social justice, environmental justice, inclusion, and equity.

Let us continue to work for scientific, nationalist, and mass-oriented education. It is always in this context that education will be for the service of the people.###
ASSERT/26 April 2020

 

https://www.facebook.com/notes/assert/education-in-the-new-normal-address-inequities-and-gaps-to-insure-accessibility-/104435531257935/

 

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[Statement] TDC said DEPED is defensive, evasive in its statements in response to teachers’ seven demands

TDC said DEPED is defensive, evasive in its statements in response to teachers’ seven demands

While seemingly ignoring the protesting teachers who are now on its second week of camp-out at the gates of DepEd Central Office I Pasig City, the DepEd has continuously releasing statements since September 23, a day before the start of the picket protest. The TDC however said that the statements are elusive and defensive and sometimes.

On September 24 alone, the DepED released at least five statements referring to five of the seven demands identified by the TDC explaining its policies on the matter but obviously avoiding a clear response on the concerns raised on each of those issues. Out of five statements on the demands for 1.) Immediate suspension of RPMS; 2.) Halt the implementation of DepEd Order No. 42 (Daily Lesson Log/ Detailed Lesson Plan); 3.) Stop all the on-going class observations; 4.) Prohibition of Saturday classes and required meetings; and 5.) Fully implement the six-hour workday nationwide, only the last item was responded substantially. The DepEd said it will release another memorandum to implement the Six-Hour Workday with two specific instructions:

Teachers who choose to render the remaining two hours of work outside the school premises must not be subjected to salary deductions
Teachers should not be required to submit means of verification (MOVs) as proof of services completed during the remaining two hours of work rendered outside the school premises.

The DepEd statements on the first four demands were all poor justifications and made to look that the teachers are only demanding the reduction of works out of indolence and incompetence. They did not even discuss the points raised by the TDC and the fact that we only asked for a one month suspension of the RPMS and other policies related to this and call for a widest consultation possible.

On September 28, the DepEd again released two other statements covering the last two demands of teachers: 6.) Hiring of non-teaching personnel that will accomplish clerical tasks; and 7.) Provision of leave benefits and medical assistance for teachers. On these last two responses, DepEd ensures that it will hire non-teaching personnel to help teachers on the clerical tasks. However, it again avoided to comment or discuss the non-implementation of health benefits under Magna Carta and expensively discussed and justified that there are leave benefits for teachers in the form of service credits, which is far from reality.

Also on September 25, the DepEd released a statement bragging its high approval rating despite attacks. “The continued approval, trust, and support of educators and stakeholders across varying sectors in the country reflect the more significant millions that actually help the Department perform its mandates and achieve its goals – considerably disproportionate to the handful objectors from the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) staging a two-week picket at the Central Office.” The statement said. It further claimed that “to advance certain interests, it has become convenient for certain groups to conclude and insist that workload and clerical tasks are the root cause of conditions as complex as depression and as sensitive as suicide. It is disappointing that to gather support, certain groups must impose on the grief of families. It is disturbing that the path to reforms should be paved with acts of dishonesty and efforts to disinform by the very groups asserting to protect the dignity and promote the welfare of teachers.”

While the last portion of the statement insinuates that it pertains to TDC, it did not mention the name of the group. The TDC however reminded DepEd to keep on track and make their statements substantial.

“We would appreciate the responses coming from DepEd, even if those were not favoring our claims so long as they are within the context of our protest and not intended to malign the protesters. We ask the DepEd leadership to keep the discussion on the legitimate issues.” Benjo Basas, TDC national chairperson said.

Basas said that the TDC never made the matter personal and did not shift to attacks on any personality while remain critical to the policies and actions of the DepEd particularly in their seven demands.

“We never call for the resignation of the secretary, we did not curse her or call her names, we believe that engaging her would be a better option and will yield good results. And to clarify, we never asked the DepEd to entirely prohibit lesson planning, class observations and performance assessment tool, for we also recognize that these are incidental to our teaching duties. What we ask for is only a suspension of work policies perceived by teachers as excessive and burdensome, even for a month. It will give our teachers a breathing space and the DepEd management an opportunity to call for a genuine consultation with the presence of classroom teachers. It will probably help to improve the implementation of these policies. But we are firm in the belief that in any policy reform or intervention, the rights, welfare and dignity of the teachers should be put in paramount consideration.” Basas ended.

The TDC will continue its protest until October 5, Friday with several activities the whole day and a solidarity dinner at 6:30PM where they will assess the two-week protest and announce its closing.
STATEMENT
October 1, 2018

————————————–
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF TEACHERS’ SEVEN DEMANDS:

The seven demands, which the TDC said, are practical, doable and within the power and authority of the Secretary are as follows:

Immediately suspend the implementation of RPMS (results-based performance management system) and call for the widest consultation possible;
“Ipinatutupad na ang RPMS kahit pa marami sa mga mismong nag-roll out nito ay hindi kumbinsido o ayaw sa programang ito.”

RPMS is the performance rating system required by the Civil Service Commission (CSC) since 2012. While it is based on CSC memorandum, the implementation varies from agency to agency. In DepEd, the system requires to submit documentations of practically everything a teacher does. It is a rigid and document-based performance system that causes stress and anxiety and steals the time of teachers for teaching.

Put a halt on the implementation of DepEd Order No. 42 or the use of Daily Lesson Log (DLL) and Detailed Lesson Plan (DLP) and revert to simplified lesson preparations;
“Walang kuwenta ang maganda at detalyadong lesson plan, ang pagtuturo ang mas mahalagang pagtuunan!”

This is just a reiteration of TDC’s 2016 appeal to the DepEd. During a meeting on July 2016, some DepEd officials said that there will be review on lesson plan guidelines. Sec. Liling Briones herself declared in a meeting in November 2017 that they are reviewing the policy. For the teachers, lesson preparation should be simplified to serve as guide for their teaching and not to serve as another burden. The more important part of teaching is how to convey the learning to their students.

Stop all the on-going class observations and leave the teachers in their usual teaching tasks;
“Kung oobserbahan tayo sa klase, nawawala ang pokus natin sa pagtuturo dahil nagiging conscious tayo na i-please ang observer, maliban pa sa dagdag ito sa trabaho ng master teachers.”

While recognizing class observations as tool for assessment, the TDC denounces the on-going class observations in DepEd system that results to stress and anxiety of teachers. According to the RPMS, each teacher should undergo at least four class observations for a year. Though it varies in some areas, still an indication that there are things in the RPMS that needed to be clarified, thus, a consultation is indeed a necessity.

Prohibit Saturday classes and required meetings;
“Hindi kasalanan ng bata at guro kung ang class suspension, huwag tayong parusahan!”

The DepEd in its earlier statements as well as in its policies said that it does not impose Saturday classes even if there were class suspensions due to inclement weather. Make-up up classes may only be justified when the 187-non-negotiable teaching days have been compromised. Also, the DepEd has recently ordered that meeting with the parents or other schools activities involving teachers should be done on Saturdays, a clear irony because the same agency orders its teachers not to give homework to students during weekends. Weekends are reserved for the teachers’ family or for self-development and usually consume for relaxation, studies or household chores.

Fully implement the six-hour workday nationwide with uniformity based on existing rules;
“Isang CSC Resolution, isang DepEd Order at isang DepEd Memorandum ang nagsasabing hindi puwedeng puwersahing magturo o mag-stay ng lampas sa anim na oras ang sinumang guro, bakit sa NCR lang ito naipatutupad? Mas makapangyarihan pa ba ang ilang SDS at school heads kaysa Central Office?”

As early as 2008, the CSC in a resolution has ordered the DepEd to release guidelines on the “Six-Hour Workday” or the requirement to stay in their school for only six hours, the two hours intended to accomplish other tasks incidental to normal teacing duties may be brought home or anywhere the teacher wants. However, the DepEd failed to implement the resolution despite the two subsequent issuances from Secretary Lapus in 2008 and 2009, DepEd Memorandum 291 and DeEd Order 16, respectively. Until now, many teachers are forced to stay in their respective school for 8 hours or more, even without classes or official functions.

Hire non-teaching personnel that will accomplish clerical tasks;
“Magturo ang trabaho ng guro, hindi ang gumawa ng reports at kung anu-anong forms.”

Teachers should be spared of clerical and other non-teaching tasks to be able to give their focus on teaching- prepare a good lesson and deliver such effectively. Clerical tasks should be left to non-teaching personnel specifically hired for the purpose.

Provide leave benefits for teachers during the school year
“Sa sobrang hirap at bigat ng trabaho, kailangan nating makapagpahinga paminsan-minsan, pero bawal tayong mapagod at magkasakit dahil wala tayong leave.”

Teachers are the only civil servants who do not enjoy the sick and vacation leave. Worse, there is a provision in Magna Carta for Teachers that mandates the government expenditure for their medical examination and even hospitalization. Unfortunately, the DepEd failed to implement this since 1966. It was also mentioned and actually agreed during the past dialogues with the DepEd but until this year, the annual physical examination is shouldered by the teachers in varying amount, from P120 the lowest to more than P1000.00 in the hinterlands.

TEACHERS’ DIGNITY COALITION (TDC)
Mobile: 0916-6126739/ 0927-3356375
Email Ad. teachersdignity@yahoo.com.ph
https://www.facebook.com/teachers.dignity/
4443 BCL Homes, Independence St., Gen.T. De Leon, Valenzuela City

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[From the web] Philippines’ Displaced Children Barred from School By Carlos H. Conde/HRW

Dispatches: Philippines’ Displaced Children Barred from School
By Carlos H. Conde

Carlos Conde copy

200px-Hrw_logo.svgHundreds of Filipino children were barred from attending class when schools opened this week.

The reason? The children have been living in shelters in Zamboanga City since their families fled fighting in the southern Philippines, and the Zamboanga City government failed to submit their school records and other requisite personal data to the Department of Education. It’s not clear if or when these kids will be able to attend school.

This bureaucratic snafu is emblematic of how the government has failed the displaced people living in Zamboanga.

Many of these kids live in the Masepla “transitory site,” which as of January 2015 housed 1,399 families who had fled the fighting between the Philippine military and a faction of the rebel Moro National Liberation Front in 2013. That fighting killed nearly 200 people including children, and displaced an estimated 120,000 residents – mostly Muslims and people belonging to the indigenous group Badjao. The conflict also forced 170 schools to close, although most of them have since reopened.

But the plight of the displaced school kids underscores how the government falls short in meeting the basic needs of its displaced people. These failures have prompted many displaced families to leave Zamboanga and move to other cities where they join the ranks of the impoverished, their children reduced to begging, often provoking local backlash.

This is also an example of the Philippines’ “education deficit” – the difference between the education children receive and what the government has promised. Around the world, armed conflict is a major contributor to education deficit. In many countries including the Philippines, soldiers take over schools for military purposes. Human Rights Watch has urged the Philippine government to endorse the Safe Schools Declaration and take measures to end the military use of schools, which happened in Zamboanga City during the 2013 fighting. Fifty-four countries have already endorsed the Declaration.

The Philippine government should immediately address the educational needs of Zamboanga’s displaced children. The government should remove any bureaucratic obstacles that keep these kids from getting to class. The children of Zamboanga have suffered enough. They should not also have to endure being deprived of an education.

Source: www.hrw.org

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