By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
A group of teachers asked the Department of Education (DepEd) management anew for a meeting to discuss several welfare concerns of public school teachers.
The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC), weeks after the opening of classes of School Year (SY) 2019-2020, said that it is “the best time to talk about the concerns of teachers because of the huge public attention thrown in the education sector.”
TDC National Chairperson Benjo Basas said that the group hopes that teachers and DepEd may “finally agree on matters which they have initially discussed in the past engagements.” The TDC, in a formal request, again presented their welfare issues and concerns.
Some of these issues, Basas said, have “supposedly reached conclusion” in 2018 following the pronouncements from the Education Secretary Leonor Briones – especially those pertaining to the medical benefits, working hours and hiring of non-teaching personnel.
TDC reiterated that some of their concerns are “practical, doable and within the authority” of Briones such as the immediate suspension of the implementation of Results-Based Performance Management System (RBPMS) and call for the “widest consultation possible”; halting the implementation of DepEd Order No. 42 or the use of Daily Lesson Log (DLL) and Detailed Lesson Plan (DLP) and “revert to simplified lesson preparations”; stopping the rampant class observations and “leave the teachers in their usual teaching tasks”; and prohibiting of Saturday classes and required meetings during weekends.
TDC also called on DepEd’s help to fully implement the six-hour workday nationwide “with uniformity based on existing rules”; hire non-teaching personnel “that will accomplish clerical tasks”; and provision of health benefits and privilege leave for teachers within the school year.
The group said that DepEd’s support will also greatly help teachers who are calling for the “cancellation of anomalous and unjust policies” of the GSIS or setting up a separate system for public school teachers and DepEd employees; and “allocation of funds to fully implement the welfare provisions” of the 53-year old Magna Carta for Public School Teachers.
“Our teachers play a crucial role in the delivery of education service to every Filipino child,” Basas said. “And we believe that if they are provided with the needed assistance and their welfare concerns are being addressed, they can enhance the teaching and accomplish every task with passion, enthusiasm, and dedication,” he ended.