Filipino teachers commended for pushing learning continuity

In the wake of the pandemic, Filipino teachers were lauded for their efforts to encourage parents, guardians, and communities to make sure students will participate in the opening of classes on Oct. 5.

Save the Children Philippines (SCP) and the Australian Embassy in the Philippines, in a statement issued Friday, praised teachers for their dedication to ensure learning continuity of millions of students.

In celebration of this year’s World Teachers’ Day (WTD) - which also coincides with the school opening on Monday - the two organizations hosted a virtual teachers’ roundtable discussion last week to determine how teachers are preparing for the new challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and their innovations to make learning effective under the new normal. 

Teachers who attended the virtual forum agreed that fulfilling children’s rights to education is a “shared responsibility of communities.”

SCP Chief Executive Officer Atty. Alberto Muyot said that the child right’s group is honored to partner with the Australian Embassy, the Department of Education (DepEd), and teachers’ organizations in implementing innovations for effective, more resilient and inclusive learning of children.

“Teachers must be supported in every way so they can face the new challenges posed by COVID-19 and contribute to the meaningful learning journey of children and youth,” said Muyot who is also a former DepEd Undersecretary.

Meanwhile, Francesca Lawe-Davies, First Secretary for Development Cooperation of the Australian Embassy, commended the teachers’ energetic outreach to parents, guardians, and communities to encourage enrolment and support for children’s learning.
“Even beyond the pandemic, remote learning tools and strengthened parental and community engagement will remain integral to supporting children’s learning, including during emergencies” Lawe-Davies said.

The SCP has been implementing the Sustaining Education Reform Gains (SERG) project in partnership with DepEd and support from the Australian government.  The project aims to improve the capability of public school teachers to effectively manage the learning needs of children and youth with disabilities, promote gender equality and social inclusion in education.
A teachers’ group on Friday urged the government and the Department of Education (DepEd) to hire displaced workers and those who are currently unemployed for special school tasks.

 In a related development, the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC), a 30,000-strong group, said that hiring additional manpower in schools will address not just unemployment but will also help will "ease the burden of teachers" in the implementation of distance/blended learning.

“Worst hit by this pandemic are the most vulnerable of the population - the poorest of the poor,” said TDC National Chairperson Benjo Basas.

Beleaguered parents, Basas added, cannot perform proper parenting. The  parents need a minimum amount of income to feed their children and send them to school, Basas added.

Basas, however, clarified that hiring these people for special school tasks should not be considered a dole out because this sector can actually serve as “force multipliers” in distance education.