Teachers hit new DepEd order on remedial classes, ask for extra pay

Jaehwa Bernardo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 13 2022 01:32 PM

A teacher assists a student in wearing a facemask at the Jose Magsaysay Elementary School in Makati City on March 30, 2022. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/File
A teacher assists a student in wearing a facemask at the Jose Magsaysay Elementary School in Makati City on March 30, 2022. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA — At least two teachers' groups criticized Monday the Department of Education's latest order on remedial classes, appealing to the agency to grant additional compensation or service credits to mentors who would facilitate such classes.

The DepEd recently issued Order No. 13, which sets guidelines on the conduct of remedial and enrichment classes following School Year 2021-2022, set to end on June 24.

According to the order, Grade 1 to 11 students who got a grade ranging from 75 to 79 will attend enrichment classes while those who failed two subjects will go through remedial classes.

The remedial and enrichment classes are scheduled to take place during the school break from July to August, earning the ire of teachers who argued that such period should be dedicated for their rest.

"This policy should be clarified because we expect teachers to enjoy a two-month vacation between the closing and opening of school years. We have the right under the law," Teachers' Dignity Coalition (TDC) National Chairperson Benjo Basas said in a statement.

Basas said various requirements including online activities, physical reporting to schools, virtual and physical classes and clerical tasks have left teachers exhausted.

"Itong bakasyon na lang ang inaasahan sana ng mga guro [para makapagpahinga] pero mukhang pati ito ay kukunin pa sa amin," he said.

(This upcoming vacation is the only thing our teachers are looking forward to for rest but it appears that even this will be taken away from us.)

In a separate statement, Alliance of Concerned Teachers Secretary General Raymond Basilio said "depriving teachers of the much-needed rest between school years takes a heavy toll not only on their health and capacities but to the over-all delivery of quality education."

Basilio noted that the latest DepEd order does not say whether teachers facilitating remedial classes would get compensation or service credits.

"The least the government can do is to justly compensate teachers who are going the extra mile to help our learners," he said.

Basas added that the TDC wants to have a dialogue with Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan, who signed the order, or outgoing Secretary Leonor Briones.

"We won't refuse work especially if it is for children. But DepEd should also consider the welfare of teachers. And if there would be an exigency of service, the ready justification for extended work, then the provision of the law for overtime pay should also be observed," he said.

ABS-CBN News has reached out to Malaluan for a comment but he has yet to respond as of writing.

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