Teachers’ group describes SY 2020-2021 opening as chaotic

The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) today described the first week of classes for School Year (SY) 2020-2021 which opened last Oct. 5 as chaotic.

Contrary to the claim of the Department of Education (DepEd) of a “successful and victorious” school opening week, the 30,000-strong group countered the basis of such declaration given the “surmounting issues” raised by teachers, students, and parents themselves.

TDC National Chairperson Benjo Basas (Teachers’ Dignity Coalition / MANILA BULLETIN)

TDC National Chairperson Benjo Basas said that the school opening was “neither a victory against pandemic nor a victory of education” because entire week was marred with problems that were already expected by the agency.

“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,” Basas said.

Contrary to Education Secretary Leonor Briones’ claim, Basas said that “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.”

Basas noted that 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.”

While many teachers – despite apprehensions – still anticipated and actually worked for a successful school opening, Basas said that things turned out to be “confusing” at the very least.

“Because of all the confusion, teachers became easy targets to angry parents and learners alike,” Basas said. “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,” he added.

TDC reiterated its call to the DepEd management to re-connect with its teachers, the front liners on 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,” Basas said. “We have taken so many bullets for the agency and yet, our leaders remain indifferent, unresponsive, and unfazed.”