While education continuity remains our top priority, DepEd must also give due consideration to the well-being of both teachers and students. The extension of the current school year is already requiring teachers to render 77 working days of overtime, without a single day of leave benefit. DepEd has yet to provide answers on how it plans to grant teachers their rightful leave benefits and overtime pay, and it’s already presenting another problem—the reduction of teachers proportional vacation pay from 80 days-worth to only 59, if the August 23 class opening pushes through.
May we inform DepEd that based on ACT’s survey this April, majority of our teachers have expressed that the burdensome work under distance learning already have negative impacts on their physical and mental health but they still strive to perform their duties. Even more alarming is how about 10% of teacher-respondents admitted that they are already getting ill due to heavy workload. The health of our students is no different.
Pushing our teachers beyond their limits could prove to be counterproductive to achieving our goals as it can lead to the undoing of the very backbone of education continuity.
Therefore, DepEd has to lay down how it plans to uphold and protect the welfare of our education frontliners along with its school opening plans. It must start with duly compensating teachers for services rendered for this school year, specifically by granting them service credit and 25% overtime pay for each day that teachers are made to work beyond the lawful 220 days max. DepEd should then work on ensuring that the conduct of the new school year will not be injurious to already beaten down teachers, support personnel, and students alike, which will entail a comprehensive response not only from DepEd but from the entire Duterte government.
On DepEd’s bid to open new school year on August 23
While education continuity remains our top priority, DepEd must…
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