/ 5 August 2020

THE TEACHERS’ Dignity Coalition on Monday asked the Department of Education to strictly observe the work from home set up in areas under modified enhanced community quarantine.

“The appeal from several groups of health professionals to revert to a stricter quarantine category and the response of the Malacañang to put Metro Manila and nearby provinces under MECQ attest to the fact that this Covid9 pandemic is far from being controlled,” Benjo Basas, the group’s national chairperson, said in a statement.

“It also says that everybody needs to contribute to minimize the movement of the people to prevent the further spread of the disease.”

Over the weekend, the Philippines recorded a total of more than over 100,000 cases and ranked 10th in Asia, even surpassing China.

“There are also confirmed cases of Covid19 infections among DepEd personnel which could be attributed to the performance of their tasks in schools or offices,” Basas noted.

The TDC called on the DepEd management to stand firm on its directive contained in DepEd Order No. 11, s. 2020 that teachers, as long as practicable should render their tasks at home and the option for physical or onsite reporting is discouraged and may only be used in exceptional cases.

The group urged DepEd to strictly prohibit physical or on-site reporting to render tasks that are not essential and can be done remotely; ensure that the task of printing/reproduction of self-learning modules in schools should not be assigned to classroom teachers; postpone the on-going accomplishment of the IPCRF, releasing of report cards and retrieval of books; take administrative actions, motu propio, against the field officials responsible for the blatant disregard and violation of the rules from central iffice, specifically DepEd Order No. 11, 2020 and all the subsequent memoranda; and shoulder all the expenses for medication, treatment, and care for DepEd personnel who tested positive of Covid19.

The group also asked Education Secretary Leonor Briones to prioritize the training of teachers and orienting parents as it prepares the whole system for school year 2020-2021. “August 24, the scheduled reopening of classes is less than a week from August 18, the initial target date to end the MECQ,”