To provide updates on and co-strategize solutions to current basic education issues, the Department of Education (DepEd) met with education stakeholders and non-government organizations in a virtual dialogue.
“Itong mga ganitong klase ng (These kinds of) dialogue ay napakaganda dahil maski (are very good because even if) you feel very passionate and we feel very passionate, at the end of the day we are still talking to each other,” Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones said.
The said virtual gathering, which E-Net Philippines organized, was also attended by other members of the agency's Management Committee. Teachers' groups that attended the dialogue include the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition, National Alliance of Teachers and Workers, Teachers, Inc., Action and Solidarity for the Empowerment of Teachers, and other education stakeholders.
DepEd officials, led by Briones, sat down with education groups and tackled teachers’ concerns, including the implementation of Republic Act No. 4670 or the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers.
“Ang pag-implement ng Magna Carta ay shared responsibility. Gagawin natin ang lahat dahil mandato natin na alagaan ang teachers natin. Responsibility rin ito ng mga regulatory agencies in terms of approving our budget (The implementation of Magna Carta is a shared responsibility. We will do everything because we are mandated to take care of our teachers. It is also the responsibility of the regulatory agencies in terms of approving our budget,)” Briones said.
Meanwhile, Undersecretary for Finance Annalyn Sevilla and OIC-Undersecretary for Human Resource and Organization Development Wilfredo Cabral discussed the computation and the processes surrounding the Special Hardship Allowance (SHA) and the provision of the Hazard Pay of the teaching and non-teaching personnel working in an area under the enhanced community quarantine and modified enhanced community quarantine.
Undersecretary for Legislative Affairs, External Partnerships, and Project Management Service Tonisito Umali, Esq. Also discussed how DepEd has been helping the private school sector during the pandemic, including creating a Private Education Office, which caters to the needs of the private schools.
DepEd and education stakeholders also talked about the teachers' physical and mental health assistance, communication and load purchase, laptops, and gadgets for learning continuity.
All parties involved agreed to continue the partnership meeting to address issues regarding primary education and lauded each other for sharing the same goal --- which is to improve learning in the country.
Meanwhile, E-Net Philippines president Flora Arellano thanked DepEd for agreeing to hold the dialogue.
“Talagang sa matagal na panahon ay nais naming magkaroon ng diyalogo ang ating teachers' organizations sa inyo... Maganda po na dininig din ninyo ang kanilang mga hinaing (For a long time, we really wanted our teachers' organizations to have a dialogue with you ... It is good that you also heard their grievances),” Arellano said.
“Nagpapasalamat po kami sa inyo at sa ating DepEd family na pinaunlakan ninyo itong space na ito para makapag-usap po tayo (We thank you and our DepEd family for hosting this space so we can talk),” she added.