DepEd’s return-to-school order for teachers is premature and misguided
The Department of Education (DepEd) released last April 6 a memorandum saying that “all DepEd offices, schools, and community learning centers (CLCs) are hereby directed to adhere to the 100% on-site reporting capacity.”
In issuing DepEd memorandum #29 series of 2022, Education Secretary Leonor Briones claimed that the decision to move away from alternative work arrangement is in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) which stipulated that agencies and instrumentalities of the government located in areas placed under Alert Level 1 shalI have 100% of their workforce on site.
Majority of the country, particularly Metro Manila, has been under the lowest level of restriction since March started in view of steadily declining active coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases. However, even though this return-to-school order may sound reasonable at first, it actually isn’t upon close examination.
Number one, face-to-face classes is yet to fully resume nationwide. And so, what will teachers do for six to eight hours each day on campus? Can they have their online classes in their respective schools when stable Internet connection is not guaranteed?
Will teachers be provided with laptops, or is the agency expecting that they already bought one using their own money? As The Filipino Scribe noted in another article, teachers have already spent considerably in the last two years to be able to adapt to the online learning set-up.
Did DepEd even take into consideration the fact that COVID-19 is actually surging in the Philippines’ neighboring countries like China, Taiwan, and Thailand?