Saying they are overworked but underpaid, teachers in Metro Manila on Tuesday slammed the Department of Education for failure to address their concerns.
At a news conference in Quezon City, Raymond Basilio, Alliance of Concerned Teachers Philippines secretary-general, called on the DepEd to “liberate teachers from non-teaching duties and create items for education support personnel.”
“Honor our teachers,” they added. “We are not machines, just like the robots,” group member Ruby Anna Bernardo, said.
The metro teachers threatened to stage a mass mobilization on the World Teachers Day on Oct. 5 in the afternoon to demand a wage increase and “more humane working conditions.”
Basilio said 5,000 teachers in the National Capital Region would gather in Mendiola in Manila on that day.
He said teachers are made to deliver other tasks beyond their job description, particularly under the results-based performance management system (RPMS) and Philippine Professional Standards for Teachers (PPST), and the K-12 program.
“We have a meager salary but have a heavy workload. We do not have enough teachers, leaving us with no option but to accommodate 60 to 70 students in a class. We lack instructional materials and other teaching modules. We do not even have enough copies of the teachers’ [curriculum] guide [for the K-12 program],” said Bernardo, a teacher in Quezon City’s Sta. Lucia High School.
“Schools do not have enough non-teaching personnel. We, teachers, sometimes are asked to perform the jobs of a [school] registrar, a clerk to do the teachers’ payroll, a nurse, a canteen manager and so many other things,” she told reporters.
“We are even tasked to check the beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program and the health status of the schoolchildren, and to do other paperworks,” she said.
ACT Philippines also opposed the RPMS-PPST policy, tools to assess the quality of teaching.
“DepEd told us they have lessened our paper works but that’s not true. We need to submit documented reports as evidence that we have worked well so we could be able to get our bonuses and other incentives,” Bernardo said.
Joselyn Martinez, ACT Philippines chairperson, along with Basilio, called on the Government Service Insurance System to withdraw its “due and demandable” letter asking teachers to avail of its financial assistance designed to buy back their loans from private lending institutions accredited by DepEd.
“DepEd should have prioritized the salary deduction of our GSIS loans, and not of our loans from private lending institutions, leaving our government loans behind,” she said.
“DepEd is blaming the GSIS for non-collection of our government loans. On the other hand, the GSIS is also passing on the blame to DepEd. At the end of the day, teachers are at the losing end,” she added.
According to Martinez, they have set another dialogue with GSIS president and general manager Jesus Clint Aranas on Oct. 30 to resolve the issue.
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