Faculty unions, associations, and educators from the private education sector on Saturday, Oct. 16, called on the next leaders of the country to pay attention to the plight of private schools especially amidst the pandemic.
The Alliance of Concerned Teachers – Private Schools (ACT Private Schools) gathered leaders of private school faculty unions, associations, as well as individual educators, to push for a teachers’ agenda through an online roundtable discussion.
Dubbed, “Private School Teachers Agenda: Roundtable Discussion para sa 2022 National Elections,” the online event featured an assembly of educators who tackled the socioeconomic situation and demands of teachers in light of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) health crisis, the economic downturn, and the upcoming 2022 national elections.
“Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, education remains one sector given the least concern by the administration of President Duterte,” the group said in a statement.
The group said that the Philippines is set to become the last country to reopen its schools for face-to-face classes since the pandemic began.
However, the group pointed out that a lot of “private schools have either scaled down their operations or closed down, leaving thousands of educators economically vulnerable.”
Given this, private school educators assert that these problems should not be relegated to the background now that the Philippines enters the election season anew.
For private school stakeholders, the start of the filing of certificates of candidacies this month as an opportunity to hold accountable all those aspiring for national and local positions and demand from them a pro-education platform.
With a goal to craft an electoral agenda, the event was participated by teachers from various private colleges and universities, such as De La Salle University, University of Santo Tomas, and Holy Cross of Davao College.
Among the panelists for the round table discussion included Rep. France Castro of ACT Teachers’ Partylist; Prof. Antonio Contreras, PhD, president of the Association of Faculty Educators of DLSU, Inc; Asst. Prof. Emerito Gonzales, MA, president of the UST Faculty Union; Mr. Rene Boy M. Libot, a retrenched educator who had rendered fifteen years of service, formerly teaching at the Holy Cross of Davao College; and Prof. David Michael M. San Juan, a professor at DLSU, and the third nominee of ACT Teachers’ Partylist.
Through round table discussion, ACT Private Schools also renewed its call to educators to engage with political and legislative issues in order to push for policies and laws that will not only improve the job security, salaries, working conditions, and rights of teachers but also advocate a progressive, democratic, and pro-Filipino type of education.