Teachers hit DepEd’s ‘recipe for disaster’ | Inquirer News

Teachers hit DepEd’s ‘recipe for disaster’

By: - Reporter / @dexcabalzaINQ
/ 05:44 AM July 17, 2022
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Senior high school students at Taliptip National High School in Bulakan town, Bulacan province. (Photo by CARMELA REYES-ESTROPE / Inquirer Central Luzon)

MANILA, Philippines — The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) has criticized the Department of Education’s (DepEd) plan to resume in-person classes in all schools across the country by November, saying it was a “recipe for disaster.”

“[DepEd] wants 100-percent of all students to return to physical classes to prepandemic class size and schedule without any health protection mechanism, aside from wearing of face masks,” ACT chair Vladimer Quetua said in a statement.

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“It’s a recipe for disaster and we will be back to the terrible and unsafe school system,” Quetua said.

DepEd Order No. 34, the first order of Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte, removed any requisite for schools to implement the five-day in-person classes.

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It listed only nine items in its “guidelines on the prevention of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases,” including mandatory face masks at all times, but for ACT, these are not enough.

“There is no standard for classroom ventilation, aside from opening the doors and windows. There is no requisite for hand washing facilities or steady water supply. The need for a clinic or a nurse is not even mentioned,” Quetua said.

Physical distancing was also made optional, with the DepEd saying it will be observed only “whenever possible,” but that seems impossible in a standard classroom of 63 square meters and an average class of 45 students.

No vax requirement

Under the order, learners are not required to get vaccinated when they return to in-person classes, but only 9.6 million adolescents and 3.7 million preteens have already been fully vaccinated.

The “final nail in the coffin” for ACT was DepEd saying schools will not be held liable should any student or personnel contract the coronavirus.

“This kind of negligence of the government on the health and safety of students and teachers is unacceptable. The country cannot wait any longer for [in-person] classes to resume, but it will only be successful if we ensure the safety of everyone,” Quetua said.

The DepEd has also not mentioned the compensation of all public school teachers who were required to report for work from June 27 to July 1.

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“It seems that the Deped cheated the teachers of their workdays by deviating from the old system that the week allotted for recognition and graduation ceremonies were included in the number of school days,” he added.

“If the DepEd does not have funds, then teachers should be given service credit of 1.25 days for every day of extended work,” he said.

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TAGS: Alliance of Concerned Teachers, Department of Education, in-person classes, Sara Duterte
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