/ 7 November 2020

THE ALLIANCE of Concerned Teachers criticized Education Secretary Leonor Briones for ‘gloating’ over her high approval rating and that of the department.

The group said that the struggles of teachers, learners, and parents in the first month of remote learning due to the ‘gross neglect’ of Education officials should have kept Briones from ‘gloating’.

“The first month of classes involved more of the same abandonment from DepEd and the President, with education stakeholders shouldering the state’s duties to education and to resolving the issues with distance learning. The multitude of problems plaguing distance learning since its conception to its implementation have not been addressed by Briones and the rest of this administration. It’s enraging to hear her gloat now about some survey while our calls and cries have been largely ignored,” Raymond Basilio, the group’s secretary general, said in a statement.

Basilio urged DepEd to “keep its feet planted firmly on the ground” and listen to the struggles of education frontliners.

“Modules are delayed, short of the 1:1 module set per student ratio, and riddled with errors. Teachers and parents are still grappling with printing supplies, gadgets, internet and utility costs, and with making blended modalities effective learning modes for their kids. Class sizes remain big, but online classes are perennially under attended by students. Teachers are at their wits’ end in performing tasks that have long taken more hours and energy away from themselves and their families. In other words, distance learning is failing at the expense of the welfare and rights of millions of teachers and learners,” Basilio said.

Instead of ‘reveling’ in the survey results, DepEd should launch an objective and comprehensive assessment of its entire learning continuity plan and resolve various issues hampering the safe delivery of accessible and quality education,  ACT said.