The promise of the Department of Education (DepEd) to ease the workload of teachers remains “all talk,” a group on Sunday, Sept. 18, said.
“One month into the school year and our conditions have only worsened,” said Manila Public School Teachers Association (MPSTA) president Louie Zabala said in a statement.
Zabala explained that DepEd’s learning recovery program “feels like a death sentence to teachers as we are forced to take on excessive teaching duties while we still deal with administrative tasks.”
Recognizing the concerns of teachers, DepEd earlier said that it is currently reviewing the guidelines that would help to ease their workload. DepEd also plans to launch a “workload balancing tool” for teachers within the year.
MPSTA noted that while DepEd’s promise of easing teachers’ workload is “just all talk,” the agency continues to deny their demand for salary upgrading.
To amplify the calls to upgrade teachers’ salaries as the country celebrates National Teachers’ Month this September, public school teachers from Manila danced their Zumba workout at the grounds of the DepEd - Manila Division Office.
“This is our contribution to the collective call to uplift the conditions of our teachers through upgrading our entry-level salaries to salary grade 15 or about P35,000 a month,” Zabal said.
“We also demand for the payment of our benefits, particularly additional compensation to the excess days that we were made to work in the last two school years, and the raising of our cash/teaching supplies allowance to P10,000,” he added.
Zabala noted that the group is “deeply saddened” by the DepEd Central Office's lack of support for the teachers' request for a significant salary increase.
The work that is assigned to teachers, he added, is too much but “we cannot feel the agency's care for the teachers who are getting sick from overwork.”
While the country celebrates the NTM, Zabala said that teachers do not feel appreciation and support from the government.
“Mistreating our teachers is tantamount to snuffing the life out of our education system,” Zabala said. “Our teachers have only two choices—to fight for our existence or perish of overwork,” he added.
The group said that it will continue to call for support for teachers from the government through various activities this NTM and during the World Teachers’ Day (WTD) celebration on Oct. 5.