ACT launches ‘Balik-Eskwela’ hotline

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(Alliance of Concerned Teachers) launched a hotline where , non-teaching personnel, parents, and students can raise their concerns regarding the upcoming start of classes, Thursday.

With the launch of their “Balik-Eskwela” hotline, the Alliance of Concerned Teachers aims to monitor and ensure the preparations for the school opening of public schools on October 5 are safe.

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The group can be contacted at 09531621571 and 09499263996.

At the launch of the hotline, some teachers complained about their piles of work due to the implementation of distance learning.

“Mayroon kaming 270 students na kailangan mong i-monitor isa-isa, kung may isang ‘di pumasok, kailangan mo i-call ang attention ng adviser at magulang. Kasabay pa nito ang pinapagawa sa aming learning delivery modality,” said teacher Maricel Herrera.

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“Mayroon nang mga report na nagkakasakit na [ang mga guro] dahil sa preparations. Kahit nagka-COVID-positive si teacher, kailangan gumagawa. Kung hindi, kailangan mag-leave pero without pay,” she added.

According to teacher Vyne Tesorero, she even solicited bond papers just to make enough printed learning modules for her students.

Tesorero thinks learning in the coming school year will be challenging due to the limited learning resources.

“Kahit ang Pasig, magbibigay ng tablet, ‘di aabot sa October 5 kaya ang learning modality is through self-learning modules. So ang challenge, paano sila matututo,” said Tesorero.

ACT launches ‘Balik-Eskwela’ hotline

“‘Yong face-to-face [classes], challenge na eh… paano na ngayon sa Pasig, na chat-based. Wala nang free data,” she added.

Earlier, the ACT called on DepEd to alleviate the workload of teachers because they are already experiencing extreme stress.

The group is also concerned about the funds allocated for DepEd in the proposed 2021 budget because it is not enough.

About P605 billion has been allocated for DepEd under the proposed 2021 budget.

“Nakapalaki ng pangangailangan natin para matiyak ang pagbabalik-eskuwela nang ligtas at kalidad ang edukasyon,” said Kris Navales, head of Quezon City Public Schools Teachers Association.

Education Undersecretary Annalyn Sevilla had earlier said that they would ask Congress to make adjustments to some allocations in the budget proposal to fund more essential projects.

DepEd has also announced its plan to provide monthly internet allowance to teachers and staff.

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