A group of teachers expressed opposition to the ongoing virtual in-service training (VINSET) being conducted by the Department of Education (DepEd).
For the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC), the conduct of the VINSET which started on Aug. 30 to Sept. 3 only adds up to the tasks required from teachers before the school opening starts next month.
Citing a memorandum released by DepEd and signed by three Undersecretaries Diosdado San Antonio, Revsee Escobedo and Alain Pascua, TDC National Vice Chairperson Olivia De Guzman said that “teachers will have a one-day virtual seminar for a week.”
“It is said that this is for training on topics related to the use of technology, particularly the internet in teaching teachers now that distance learning is the system used in schools,” De Guzman said in Filipino.
However, De Guzman argued that DepEd does not seem to be aware of the situation of teachers because instead of addressing their needs, webinars are being held for teachers at all levels.
“There are webinars at the school, at the district and at the division level,” De Guzman lamented. “Does DepEd know if these help teachers be more productive? Does this help raise the level of quality of teaching?” she asked.
TDC said that before DepEd requires the teachers to participate in such activities, the agency must first fulfill its obligation to teachers.
“DepEd obligates us to virtual seminars and other online activities but their obligation to provide free laptop and internet access to teachers are not yet fulfilled,” she said.
De Guzman also called out DepEd for not granting their requests for dialogues to discuss the issues that confront the teachers.
“If DepEd would only be open to discussion and listen to its teachers, it would be easy to take into account our situation, experience, sentiments and opinions on the policies and programs they are implementing,” De Guzman said.
“But we don’t know who they are listening to or consulting with,” she added.
Due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) situation in the country, DepEd holds this year’s INSET online. The VINSET is part of the Public Schools of the Future (PSOF) Framework’s Digital Rise Program of the Administration Strand under the leadership of Secretary Leonor Briones.