A federation of teachers slammed the “additional tasks” imposed by the National Educators Academy of the Philippines (NEAP) under the Department of Education (DepEd) noting that these contribute to the workload of teachers made “heavier” by the distance learning approach.
The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Philippines said that it has “documented” added tasks imposed on teachers by DepEd’s NEAP for the Learning Delivery Modalities (LDM) Courses.
ACT alleged that NEAP “had been requiring a breakdown” of the MELCs to show teachers’ mastery of the materials. This, the group said, is something “hardly achievable” given the short period of time, lack of sufficient support, and barrage of other tasks in preparation for school opening.
“This was supposed to be done by a select few teachers and experts in DepEd who will then “coach” the rest of the teaching personnel at school,” said ACT Secretary General Raymond Basilio. “However, many have reported that regular teachers themselves were tasked to produce multiple outputs for the LDM,” he added.
Basilio said that these reports all boils down to the “failure” to efficiently operationalize DepEd’s learning continuity program, largely due to perennial shortages worsened by the recent shift to remote learning. “Teachers and learners alike will yet again suffer the consequences of the government’s ineptitude, not to mention the violation of their fundamental rights,” he added.
Aside from enabling provisions from DepEd, ACT said that another more crucial measure to address additional burden to teachers is the allocation of enough material resources to education agencies in order for all learners in the country to have access to safe, accessible, and quality education.
“One key step to resolve the issue of overworking teachers and huge class sizes amid the pandemic is the hiring of additional teachers,” Basilio said. “Even if DepEd fills all of its vacant plantilla items, it will still need additional workers to meet all the needs of distance learning from the production of materials to its delivery to learners, to assisting both students and parents in these new modalities,” he added.
ACT also called on a “decisive commensurate response” from the Duterte admin to the enormous demands of education amid the COVID-19 pandemic.