Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte-Carpio said that the government is not blind to the problems that the country faces when it comes to education.
The hiring of teachers, and administrative staff, as well as the construction of new classrooms and school buildings, are among the solutions identified and being pursued by the government.
“We have already laid down solutions to these problems during the Basic Education Report delivered on January 30, 2023,” Duterte-Carpio said.
The suggestion of House Deputy Minority leader Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Partylist representative France Castro’s urging the DepEd to hire 130 thousand teachers to fill the gap of lack of teachers did not sit well with Duterte-Carpio.
“As it is, aside from a glaring classroom shortage, the Philippine education system needs to hire 147,000 more teachers to cut down the class size to 35 students to have a healthy balance ratio of teacher and students to promote a more conducive learning atmosphere,” Castro said.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, many public schools have two-shifts to accommodate learners vis-à-vis classroom shortage. With classrooms having as many as 70 students per shift. Classes can start as early as 6 am for the first class, and as late as 7 pm for the second class.
“The suggestions of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) for the Department of Education to hire 30,000 public teachers and allocate a budget of P100 billion per year for classrooms are obviously deceptive maneuvers deliberately designed to counter the Marcos administration’s solution to the problems hounding the education sector,” Duterte-Carpio said.
“May I reiterate that ACT Teachers’ suggestions were both unrealistic and impossible—presented to shame the government and deceive the public into believing that the hiring of teachers and increasing the education budget were their ideas. The Department will not surrender or fall for the mad ruse of a partylist group that has mastered the art of duplicity,” Duterte-Carpio said.
Duterte-Carpio called ACT partylist as a “fake representative of learners and teachers in Congress”
Duterte-Carpio once again red-tagged ACT partylist, “If ACT Teachers stands for the education sector, it would not have ignored the NPA terrorism in Masbate that resulted in the suspension of classes in six towns of the province, affecting more than 55,000 learners and 2,815 personnel — which they claim to represent,” Duterte-Carpio said.
“These are the glaring facts that the DepEd has to effectively address and no amount of red tagging can cover up these problems. One sure way to address these issues is for the Marcos-Duterte administration to follow the United Nations standard for the allotted budget for education should at least be 6% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country,” Castro said.
“I hope that the Marcos-Duterte admistration would heed our call in behalf of the education sector to increase the budget for education to 6% of the GDP and support HB 1783, to address the classroom backlogs and substantially increase the salaries of our teachers. It is only by doing this can we effectively solve the learning crisis,”
“Part of its deceptive tactic when stripped down of its intentions—with its real political agenda exposed to the public—is to conveniently hide under the blanket of red-tagging,” Duterte-Carpio said.
Duterte-Carpio repeatedly challenge ACT Teachers to condemn the armed rebellion of the New People’s Army, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines.
“ACT Teachers should stop dropping the victim card around the table whenever they are exposed as sympathizers and supporters of the NPA, the Communist Party of the Philippines, and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines,” Duterte-Carpio said.