DepEd: Report saying teachers want Briones out is ‘fake news’
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Education (DepEd) on Friday branded as “fake news” a media report that claimed thousands of public school teachers in elementary and junior and senior high schools in Pangasinan were calling on President Rodrigo Duterte to fire Secretary Leonor Briones for supposedly not being able to perform her duties as DepEd chief anymore.
Education Undersecretary and spokesperson Nepomuceno Malaluan disputed the report, saying a validation with DepEd officials in the province showed teachers in their jurisdiction do not harbor this sentiment.
“Upon our validation, first, the so-called thousands of public school teachers in elementary and junior high school having urged President Rodrigo Duterte to fire Education Secretary Leonor Briones, that is fake,” he told a press briefing.
“There is no such source for that and from all of the representatives of the teachers there as well as the divisions and regions, there is no truth to this lead paragraph and as you have seen, it was actually sourced from these unnamed three [district supervisors],” he added.
Malaluan said the alleged statement of three district supervisors from Dagupan City Schools Division Office who supposedly described Briones as incompetent and too old to hold a Cabinet office was likewise fictitious.
“What was referred to was Dagupan City, three district supervisors, and there are only 10, and all of these division superintendents of Dagupan attest that no interview with any of them took place or any statement as quoted in the report as have been made,” the official said.
However, Malaluan said DepEd could not verify two school principals’ supposed statement from Pangasinan 2 Schools Division Office as it could not speak with all the principals under the concerned jurisdiction.
Nevertheless, he said DepEd has secured statements contradicting reports that teachers in the city used their own money to print self-learning modules for distribution to their students.
“These statements are from the division superintendents, the officers of the PTA (Parents-Teachers Association) Federated in Dagupan City, the Dagupan City Public School Teachers and Employees Association, the Philippine Elementary Schools Principals Association in Dagupan, and National Association of Public Secondary School Heads in Dagupan, all disputing such a claim in the report and also attesting to their support for the secretary,” he added.
Further, Malaluan also denied that DepEd Ilocos Region director Tolentino Aquino had instructed teachers to stop using the self-learning modules from the DepEd central office amid reports of errors. [ac]
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