/ 5 August 2021

ACT TEACHERS Partylist Rep.  France Castro on Wednesday called on the Department of Education to give teachers a break after an unusually long school year.

She also prodded the department to pay teachers for their overtime work.

“Teachers had to endure the 13-month-long pandemic school year with little to no support from the Department of Education and the Duterte administration. Since the end of the school year last July 10, teachers have still been busy with numerous and excessive paperwork to comply with the demands of the Department of Education’s Results-Based Performance Management System,” Castro said.

She cited the recent virtual kick off of DepEd’s “Brigada Eskwela”— the annual preparation for the opening of classes.

“Sa paparating na isa na namang enhanced community quarantine dahil sa banta ng Delta variant ng Covid19, ang DepEd naman ay wala ring tigil sa pagpapatupad ng enhanced pahirap sa mga guro sa kabila ng kakulangan ng suportang ibinibigay sa pagtaguyod ng pandemic school year,” Castro said.

She stressed that teachers should be compensated for the “lost leave benefits” under the proportional vacation pay as they were required to work 13 months straight last school year.

“And now with the excess paperworks and demands of ‘Brigada Eskwela,’ it is simply ‘inhumane’ and violative of teachers’ labor rights,” Castro added.

She said that the long school year and the demands of blended distance learning “are taking a toll on the mental and physical health of our public school teachers.”