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MAKESHIFT FACULTY ROOM

Cavite teachers move out of toilet, transfer to school lab

/ 05:04 AM June 13, 2019

RESTROOM NO MORE A group of teachers at Bacoor National High School in Cavite province holds office at a school laboratory after leaving their makeshift faculty room in the school’s restroom. —CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

SAN PEDRO CITY, Laguna, Philippines — The 11 teachers at Bacoor National High School in Bacoor City, Cavite, who turned the school’s toilet into a faculty room, have moved out and found a new office space in the school’s laboratory.

On Wednesday, Felizardo Bolaños, Department of Education (DepEd) division superintendent, said the issue had been resolved, although a teachers’ group noted that the solution seemed temporary in dealing with the shortage of school facilities.

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‘Band-Aid’ solution

Bolaños also said school principal Anita Rom would not press any charges against Maricel Herrera, the teacher who posted online the photos that showed the makeshift faculty area in the school’s restroom.

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“We respect their right to voice out what they feel,” he said.

Bolaños said the decision to move the group to the technology and livelihood education laboratory was made last week after a meeting between the teachers and Education Undersecretary Jesus Mateo and Carlito Rocafort, DepEd regional director in Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon).

But Alvin Fuentes, head of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers-Southern Tagalog, said that what the school did was mere “Band-Aid” solution to a problem persistent in many public schools in the country.

“Their action was triggered by (Herrera’s photos on Facebook) going viral and not because they were acting on the teachers’ concerns,” Fuentes said in a telephone interview on Wednesday.

Bolaños said the teachers occupied the restrooms only on May 27 after the school decided to hold classes in a “single shift.”

Removing the night classes, which Bolaños said was for students’ safety, meant putting “50 plus” students in a single class, requiring more spaces, such as the faculty room, to be be converted into classrooms.

He said the principal offered other areas, like the library and the guidance center, as faculty area for 243 teachers. —Maricar Cinco

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TAGS: Bacoor National High School, Felizardo Bolaños, Public School Teachers, shortage of school facilities
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