Solons to DepEd: Don’t blame teachers, solve school amenities shortage
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Education (DepEd) should solve the longstanding shortage in facilities, learning resources, and teaching and non-teaching personnel in public schools instead of blaming and threatening teachers for exposing the situation in their workplace.
ACT Teachers Reps. Antonio Tinio and France Castro asserted this Wednesday after a teacher in Bacoor National High School in Cavite revealed they were left with no choice but to transform a comfort room to a faculty space due to lack of facilities.
DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones dismissed the move of the Bacoor school teacher as “dramatic” and “touching.”
“They had their choice. They could hold office in the laboratory rooms but of course, it is more dramatic, it’s more touching if you hold it in the toilets… So choice ‘yun ng mga teachers,” the education chief said.
But Tinio pointed out that such condition in a Cavite school was “not an isolated case and not new.”
“Instead of solving the longstanding problem of shortages in facilities, Department of Education Secretary Leonor Briones herself blamed the teachers for using the comfort rooms as faculty rooms to be ‘more dramatic and touchy,'” Tinio lamented.
Castro, meanwhile, defended teacher Maricel Herrera, the faculty president of Bacoor National High School and Secretary-General of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers in region 4A, who exposed the situation. The school’s principal is reportedly planning to file administrative and criminal cases against Herrera for allegedly damaging the image of the school.
“Teachers should not be blamed and threatened for exposing the true conditions and situations that they have to face in their work space. Let us not be allergic to the truth and dissent based on that truth,” Castro said.
Tinio further argued that it is only just that teachers be given space to work especially that DepEd requires them to accomplish a lot of paperworks.
“Faculty rooms and other facilities both for students and teachers should be a necessity; they are not luxuries like what the principal of Bacoor National High School implied,” Tinio said.
“In regions like the NCR and Davao with accredited unions and Collective Negotiation Agreements, the government even committed to provide teachers with faculty spaces. The needs of teachers in one region should not be different in another,” he added.
The appeal of Herrera and others like her should “open the administration’s eyes” into “devoting more funds for the needs of teachers and students,” Tinio stressed. (Editor: Katherine G. Adraneda)
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.