/ 4 November 2020

THE ALLIANCE of Concerned Teachers slammed the Department of Education’s suggested measures to ease distance learning pressure, saying that “concrete and decisive measures” are needed and not suggestions.

The group was reacting to the  memorandum issued by Education Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction Diosdado San Antonio that contained measures aimed to ease the pressure of distance learning on students and teachers.

The measures include granting time extensions for the completion and submission of activities by the learners and expanding mental health and socio-emotional well-being support to teachers, learners, and parents.

ACT said the Education department should implement measures to address problems like the budget needed to meet the needs of distance learning, sufficient learning materials, and additional teaching and non-teaching personnel, among others.

“We don’t need any more suggestions from DepEd, what we need are concrete provisions and measures that will once and for all resolve the issues with the government’s ill-equipped and underprepared remote learning program,” Raymond Basilio, the group’s secretary general, said.

“What we need is for DepEd to provide the needed resources and policies to enable academic ease without sacrificing quality learning. Talk less and act more on our urgent needs and demands,” he added.

The group said that the recommendations were not new.

“Teachers, learners, and parents have long been calling for DepEd to enable these vital measures by ensuring sufficient budget allocation and implementing policy changes to permit the following: hiring of additional education support personnel who can cover non-teaching tasks; implementation of a pass-or-fail grading system to take the pressure off of learners and teachers alike; and focus on relevant curriculum content that will not only be appreciated better by learners but will also aide them in navigating their way amid and in bettering the grim situations in our communities,” ACT said.

It said that education stakeholders will be burdened by the responsibilities because DepEd failed to include enabling mechanisms for the ‘academic ease’ measures.