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Thursday, June 13, 2024

ACT: Gov’t lax on return of in-person classes

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Public school teachers on Monday asserted that the government “did not do its homework” in preparing for the resumption of full face-to-face classes, ending two years of online and hybrid learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“To be honest, they did not do their homework,” the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) said during a press briefing.

ACT Secretary-General Raymond Basilio also renewed their call for adequate classrooms and armchairs, more support personnel, and reduced workload.

The group also batted for reduction of the number of students per class to 35 students, as well as additional learning and teaching devices such as laptops and internet connections.

“Kung handa ba ang Department of Education, handa ba ang gobyernong Marcos para sa full face-to-face classes, sa totoo lang, hindi kasi nila ginawa ‘yung assignment nila eh no,” Basilio said.

“Ang nakakatawa dito ay more than 100 days na sila sa pwesto, ay wala silang naaayos dito, maliban sa sinabi lang nila na magbubukas tayo ng face-to-face classes at parang iniwan sa ere ‘yung mga teachers at mga school heads na maghanap ng solusyon kung papaano matitiyak ‘yung pagbubukas ng klase by November 2,” he added.

ACT likewise pressed for an increase in the budget for the schools’ maintenance and other operating expenses, setting up of safety and health facilities, provision of financial assistance to poor families so their children could go to schools, and implementation of an evidence-based education recovery program.

Basilio said the teachers had told the government since June that the basic problems of the schools was inadequate budget for the Department of Education to be able to meet their challenges.

Basilio said teachers supported the reopening of schools to resume face-to-face classes as students had suffered learning losses amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among the problems which appeared with partial face-to-face classes that started on August 22, were the lack of teachers and the shortage of classrooms.

DepEd spokesman Michael Poa admitted earlier there was a shortage of around 40,000 classrooms nationwide.

Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte however said classroom shortage should not be an excuse to keep the students from going back to in-person classes this year.

To address the lack of teachers, on the other hand, DepEd said it was hiring around 10,000 teachers for school year 2023-2024.

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