DepEd: We’re just following IATF guidelines on teachers
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Education (DepEd) on Tuesday defended its policy making on-site reporting mandatory for teachers, saying it was just complying with the order of the national government.
It cited Resolution No. 163-A issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), which requires government agencies in areas under alert level 1 to ensure a 100 percent on-site workforce.
Consequently, under DepEd Memorandum No. 29, series of 2022, both teachers and non-teaching personnel must report to their schools even while most students remain at home.
“The DepEd is part of the administrative system of the Philippine government [and] teaching is complemented by other activities,” Education Secretary Leonor Briones said in a virtual press conference.
Earlier, some teachers complained that the mandatory on-site reporting policy was implemented hastily without any consultation. This, they added, resulted in problems as some schools were not equipped for conducting online classes.
In several public schools in Quezon City, some teachers had to hold their virtual classes in corridors or on covered courts because of the weak internet signal inside their classrooms. Education Undersecretary Annalyn Sevilla, however, said the policy would remain in place unless the government’s executive order allows flexible work arrangements.
“Our teachers are government workers as well,” she said.
Union members of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers National Capital Region, meanwhile, called for a dialogue with the DepEd on the suspension of the policy due to its “counterproductive” impact.