/ 14 May 2022

THE ALLIANCE of Concerned Teachers slammed Education Secretary Leonor Briones’ “impudent” statement welcoming presumptive vice president Sara Duterte-Carpio as the next education chief.

The group said that Briones has been sleeping on the payment of additional compensation for 77 excess work days rendered by teachers in School Year 2020-2021. It added that the Department of Education is yet to conduct an assessment to determine and gauge the nature and extent of the learning crisis brought about by two years of school closures due to the pandemic.

“Teka lang po, madame secretary, hindi pa tapos ang bilangan sa halalan at lalong hindi pa tapos ang inyong trabaho. Marami pa kayong utang sa mga guro, sa mga estudyante at sa buong sektor ng edukasyon. Gawin muna ninyo ang trabaho ninyo bago kayo mag-welcome ng kung sinuman,” Raymond Basilio, the group’s secretary general, said.

Basilio shared that the Department of Budget and Management wrote to DepEd last week reminding the agency to submit its position paper on additional compensation for the 77 excess workdays of teachers which was agreed upon during the dialogue between ACT, DepEd, DBM and the Civil Service Commission in October 2021.

“Aside from this, the Briones leadership still has to reimburse teachers of their many distance learning expenses, as well as out-of-pocket expenses for the preparation of limited face-to-face classes. In the 27 months of blended learning, the DepEd has only provided for a total of 16 months of around P300 monthly internet subsidy. Expenses for module printing were still not reimbursed and majority of teachers are yet to receive DepEd-issued laptops. Teachers are still asking where the P900 billion budget for preparing school reopening is because they once again shouldered the costs of classroom repairs and maintenance. Dapat bayaran muna ng DepEd ang mga utang na ito sa guro bago matapos ang termino ni Secretary Briones,” Basilio said.

He said that the DepEd should conduct a national student assessment to have an evidence-based analysis of the extent of the learning crisis in the country.

“The least she can do is to provide the next DepEd leadership of an objective assessment of the situation to guide future policies and programs,” Basilio said.