The Teacher’s Dignity Coalition (TDC) expressed concerns Wednesday that teachers’ participation in the dry run of face-to-face classes next year would be made mandatory.
According to TDC national chairperson Benjo Basas, the government should also consider teachers’ safety and security in the resumption of in-person classes.
“Ang pinakaproblema po namin dito na nakikita, while this is voluntary sa mga bata at mga magulang na dapat ay may consent, sa teachers mukhang hindi pupuwede na ito ay maging voluntary,” Basas said in an interview on CNN-Philippines.
“Kaya siguro hindi po kami makapag-react kasi hindi pa namin nakikita ‘yung buong pormularyo ng DepEd, ‘yung mga detalye,” he added.
Regional directors have recommended 1,114 participating schools so far, Education Secretary Leonor Briones said on Wednesday.
The DepEd chief said the approval of parents and local government units of concerned schools are still needed before the dry run begins.
Basas many teachers tested positive for COVID-19 while on duty. However, the teachers were not given the help they expected from DepEd, he added.
“Marami po kasi tayong cases in the past since tumama po itong pandemya. Marami po tayong teachers na na-infect ng COVID-19 dahil sa performance ng kanilang duty sa school,” he said.
Group worried face-to-face classes may be mandatory for teachers
“With due respect to our Secretary, hindi po ito natulungan ng Department of Education ng tulong na inaasahan namin mula sa ahensya,” he added.
Briones said DepEd already prepared a program for the hazard pay of teachers working in areas with risk for COVID-19.
“We will be discussing all of these issues, the teachers and learners, this afternoon,” she said.
President Rodrigo Duterte approved the pilot testing of face-to-face classes in schools located in areas with a low-risk of COVID-19 transmissions.
The dry run would be from January 11 to 23, 2021.
Concerned agencies would then take the last week of January to submit their reports and evaluation regarding the pilot-testing for final recommendation to President Rodrigo Duterte.
Briones noted that the number of learners allowed in face-to-face classes would be limited.