Teachers’ group wary of coming orientation

Published November 20, 2020, 3:03 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

A federation of teachers feared Friday that an upcoming orientation for parents and teachers in 16 divisions of the Department of Education-National Capital Region will be a venue for red-tagging.

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers-Philippines said the orientation “Parents and Teachers on the Youth and Student Recruitment by the CPP-NPA-NDF” to be given by the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency-NCR Nov. 25 is an “obscene use of time and resources” especially at a time when the concerns on distance learning setup remain unaddressed.

“We are sickened, to say the least, to learn of DepEd’s priorities at this time of great crisis,” said ACT Secretary General Raymond Basilio. 

“How many millions of our learners and their families are struggling to continue education while dealing with a pandemic, jobs crisis, and calamities? And our teachers who are stretched thin in trying to provide learning opportunities that the state has so far failed to do effectively? One would think that resolving these major issues will occupy DepEd’s time, but we guess not,” he added.

ACT said the event was confirmed in a correspondence requesting “Delivery of Orientation on the CTG Youth/Student Recruitments” on Oct. 15 between DepEd NCR Regional Director Malcolm Garma and the NICA.

The letter was immediately disseminated to NCR school divisions for their “information, guidance, and compliance.”

ACT said that a memorandum dated Nov. 5 from DepEd Manila School Division Office also requested the participation of secondary school heads, a Social Studies head teacher or teacher, and senior high school assistant principals from each school.

“When classes opened on Oct. 5, it was no secret that many schools in NCR and all other regions lacked sufficient, if any, learning materials and infrastructure due to DepEd’s failure to provide such,” Basilio said.

Basilio noted that teachers have been dealing with perennially low student turnout in online classes, resource generation for the printing of modules, juggling multiple modalities per class, guiding both parents and learners on the conduct of remote learning, among others, all while fearing for their health amid a raging pandemic, with not a few getting infected in the line of duty.

”Parents and learners have since pooled their energies and resources in trying to keep up with the demands of distance learning,” Basilio said.

“Much of these troubles suffered are products of state abandonment; but instead of coming up with concrete solutions and facing accountability, DepEd and the rest of this government opted to further their transgressions by vilifying legitimate exercise of rights and fundamental freedoms of students and teachers on the people’s paycheck,” he added.