A group of teachers on Friday, Jan. 27, listed several issues and concerns that they expect the Department of Education (DepEd) to report as the agency presents its first-ever Basic Education Report (BER) next week.
“On top of our list of expectations is for the Secretary to present an evidence-based nationwide assessment of the learning situation after two years of distance learning and four months resumption of face-to-face classes,” said Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Philippines Chairperson Vladimer Quetua said in a statement.
As announced early this month, Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte will present the BER 2023 on Jan. 30.
The BER, DepEd Spokesman Michael Poa said, will present to the “general public what is the current state of basic education” in the country.
In general, ACT said that teachers want DepEd to report on learning assessments, education shortages, and teachers’ concerns such as workload, salary, and benefits --- among others.
“We hope to hear an honest and realistic evaluation of where we are now, what do we need to focus on, and how do we recover from the learning crisis,” said Quetua.
ACT noted that teachers, learners, and parents have “suffered immensely” in filling up the shortages in education last school opening.
“We hope to know from the report what the agency has done to address the shortages in classrooms, school furniture and equipment, learning resources, as well as on teachers and non-teaching personnel,” Quetua said.
Teachers, Quetua added, have also been waiting for months on DepEd’s “concrete plans and actions” regarding its promises of reducing our non-teaching duties and the granting of non-wage benefits.
While presenting the BER, teachers also expect the DepEd to deliver “some good news” on the status of the long-delayed Performance-Based Bonus 2021, the payment of the P5,000 balance in their Service Recognition Incentive (SRI), and the “still undistributed one-time rice assistance.”
Aside from presenting the current status of the country’s basic education sector, DepEd said an Education Agenda will also be launched during the conduct of BER 2023.
The Education Agenda, DepEd said, will outline the initiatives of the current administration to address the challenges faced in basic education.
For ACT, DepEd’s BER 2023 will only be “meaningful” to teachers if it will reflect the real situation on the ground and provide concrete solutions to the difficulties that they are currently facing.
“Otherwise, it will only sound like the usual rhetoric of a politician promoting oneself as an investment for the next elections,” Quetua said.