Teacher’s group reaches out to Congress on Aug. 24 class opening postponement

Published August 9, 2020, 3:33 PM

by Dhel Nazario

A teacher’s group has reached out to Congress for the postponement of the Aug. 24 class opening.

They cited  health concerns in relation to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the “obvious failure” on the part of the Department of Education (DepEd) in preparing for the distance learning modality for their appeal.

In a letter dated Aug. 6, Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) lobbied their concerns to Pasig City Rep. Roman Romulo, the chairperson of the House Basic Education Committee.  

In the letter, TDC National Chairperson Benjo Basas said that “while they support the DepEd’s position to continue education amidst the pandemic, they believe  that the entire system should be prepared for this new normal, and that would include the capacity of the children’s family and all other stakeholders.”

He also mentioned that there have been teachers who tested positive from COVID-19 after doing tasks in schools “while our learning modules — the main tool of teaching and learning for this school year remain unrealized.” 
Basas said  that a lot of teachers have resorted to doing online fund raising or solicitation in order to cover their expenses for papers, ink, and printers.

Given these concerns, Basas said these should be enough to compel DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones to move school opening to a much later date, especially now that Metro Manila is once again under the Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) until Aug. 18, hampering even more the needed preparations.

“Meanwhile instead, DepEd could conduct valuable teacher training and parent orientation, as well as work to strengthen technological infrastructure to better respond to this crisis,” they said. 

“Much as we want to discuss these matters with the DepEd management, our appeal for dialogues were ignored for many times. Thus, we turn to Congress to air our grievances. We believe they will listen to us,” Basas said.

Basas said Romulo has set a virtual meeting  Monday to discuss this while the office of Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, his counterpart in the Senate, has acknowledged their letter. He added that they will also seek the support of other legislators.

Around 30 TDC leaders will be invited to briefly present the general assessment and situationer in their respective regions.