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DepEd asked to reassess plans for education recovery; guarantee teachers’ labor rights

A group of education workers called on the Department of Education (DepEd) to hold “genuine” learning assessments and ensure teachers’ rightful rest and compensation for their additional work.


(DepEd file photo)

Teachers under the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) raised various concerns before the implementation of the National Learning Camp (NLC) this month.

DepEd’s NLC will run for three to five weeks, from July 24 to Aug. 25.

In a statement issued early this month, DepEd explained that the NLC is in support of the MATATAG Basic Education Agenda and as a sub-program under the National Learning Recovery Program (NLRP) aimed at addressing learning loss.

As per DepEd, the NLC has a “two-fold purpose”: to improve learning outcomes and support teachers to teach better.

Based on the guidelines for the conduct of the NLC, there will be three days of teacher-learner engagement and two days dedicated to collaborative expertise through Learning Action Cell (LAC) sessions among teachers per week.

DepEd also clarified that the NLC is a “voluntary program” — thus, participation is not mandatory for both teachers and learners.

Since the NLC entails the services of teachers beyond regular school days, DepEd said they shall be provided with “vacation service credits, certificate of recognition for teachers, and other incentives, subject to the availability of funds and guidelines set.”

ACT said that this schedule was set concurrently with teachers’ supposed two-month vacation or proportional vacation leave (PVL).

The group urged DepEd to enforce their rights to “adequate rest and proper compensation” invoked in the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers and Civil Service Commission’s Omnibus Rules on Leave.

DepEd’s NLC, the group said, is a “band-aid remedy,” thus, the agency must rethink its learning recovery program.

ACT Chairperson Vladimer Quetua explained during the conduct of the NLC, DepEd must ensure that teachers will be properly compensated for their additional work.

The group also raised concerns on the conduct of the NLC which, it said, was “rushed” and without “clear” objectives.

ACT noted that even before the school year 2021-2022 started, it has been pushing for realistic, democratic, and appropriate learning assessments to gauge the scope of the learning crisis in the country.

As teachers are needed in the conduct of the NLC, the group urged DepEd to guarantee the labor rights of teachers and reassess its plans for education recovery.

ACT also urged DepEd to conduct a nationwide learning assessment to guide the curriculum adjustments for the education recovery program and re-orient the Philippine education system towards a “nationalist, scientific, and mass-oriented education.” — Merlina Hernando-Malipot

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