By Zea Capistrano
DAVAO CITY – Several teachers in Maco, Davao De Oro camped out along the highway here in order to join a webinar aimed at preparing them for the “new normal” in education amidst the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
The photos of the teachers from New Leyte Elementary School and New Leyte National High School who were joining the first day of the three-day webinar called “The New Normal Classroom Modality Teaching” were shared on Facebook by 22-year-old elementary teacher Jeson Arias Mangca Celebre on Wednesday morning.
Celebre captioned the photos “Laban sa Webinar mga Juestra pag kapait nalang sa way signal 😂😂 OKAY PA BA MO DIHA??? (Keep fighting teachers. It’s really difficult to have no signal. Are you still okay?)”
Celebre also noted that the posting of their photos was “For fun only.”
The photos have been shared on Facebook 877 times as of 10:58 a.m. on Thursday.
In an interview with the Manila Bulletin, Celebre said the highway where they found a strong signal was 15 minutes away from their school.
He said one of the challenges of teachers in New Leyte is the lack of signal. He also said some students do not have televisions or gadgets like phones or laptops at home.
“Normal na man ni sa akoa mam, bata pa ko ingon ani na among mga teachers (this has been our normal since I was young. My teachers have experienced these even before),” he said.
Despite the challenges, Celebre said they are happy with what they do.
The Department of Education in Region 11 lauded the teachers for finding ways to connect to the Internet and join the three-day webinar.
“While others look at these photos with disdain, many look at them as heroes; unheralded but honest, courageous, and true,” DepEd Region 11 said in a statement it posted on its Facebook account Wednesday night.
“The teachers in these photos are laudable, let alone edifying. Despite the lack of resources like Internet connection, these teachers went out of their way to be connected,” it said.
“They went out of their way to find means to help themselves, to help the schools division that they belong to,” it added.
The DepEd has assured “that all teachers will be ready for the opening of classes on August 24, 2020.”
DepEd 11 also recorded more than 144K views with teachers listening and learning.
“No excuses though for lack of equipment or internet connectivity especially in the far-flung areas. But DepEd will make sure the needed resources for the new learning modalities will be provided to them before the opening of classes,” it added.