Teachers' group says first week of classes terrible, lacked govt support

Joyce Balancio, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 25 2022 01:32 PM

Parents and guardians wait for students exiting the Aurora A. Quezon Elementary School in Manila on the first day of classes, August 22, 2022. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News
Parents and guardians wait for students exiting the Aurora A. Quezon Elementary School in Manila on the first day of classes, August 22, 2022. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — A teachers' group on Thursday described the first week of School Year 2022-2023 as terrible and lacking in support from the government.

In a press conference, members of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) gave their own assessment of the school opening, which the Department of Education (DepEd) earlier said was smooth, orderly and peaceful.

ACT Chairperson Vlademir Quetua said the situation on the ground was different from what the DepEd was saying.

"Sa pagbubukas ng klase, ito ay terible talaga sa hanay ng kaguruan. Talagang nasayang ang 2 taon, hindi napaghanda, walang sapat na suporta [mula sa gobyerno]," he said.

(The opening of classes was truly terrible for our teachers. We really wasted the past 2 years. We weren't prepared. There was not enough support from the government.)

Ruby Bernardo, a member of ACT's chapter in the National Capital Region, said she and her fellow teachers were left on their own to address unavailable resources in schools.

"Makikita natin iyan sa kakulangan ng upuan, ng classrooms. Hindi malinaw ang ratio ng student and teacher. At kahit sa usapin ng health and safety, at paano ma-address ang learning loss, wala kaming nakikitang malinaw na plano ang DepEd," she said.

(We can see this in the shortage of seats and classrooms. The student-teacher ratio was not clear. We also cannot see any clear plan from DepEd on health and safety, and how to address learning losses.)

Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte has said the DepEd would not set a class size limit, noting there are "different situations" in each school.

DepEd spokesperson Michael Poa earlier said the agency's plan to address learning losses is contained in the Basic Education Development Plan 2030.

Antonia Lim, a member of ACT in Central Visayas, also denied that temporary learning spaces have been constructed for schools affected by typhoons.

"Nagkaroon lang ng shifting [of classes]. May binigay na P20,000 para daw iyon financial assistance sa [tinamaan ng bagyong] Odette. Ano naman ang magagawa sa P20,000? Sirang-sira ang 3 building namin," Lim said.

(They only implemented shifting of classes. They gave P20,000 as financial assistance for those affected by Odette. What will we do with P20,000? Our 3 buildings were severely damaged.)

Teachers also said they did not receive any additional financial provision to buy essential things needed to prevent COVID-19 infections in schools, even though the DepEd said it downloaded at least P3 billion to schools to augment funds for their maintenance and other operating expenses.

The group urged the DepEd to assess the magnitude of learning losses in children to formulate a learning recovery plan.

RELATED VIDEO

Watch more News on iWantTFC