Infringing on public school teachers’ freedom of expression
Vice President and concurrent Education Secretary Sara Duterte-Carpio released last November 2022 Department of Education (DepEd) Order #49-2022 which has been widely panned as an attempt to restrict public school teachers’ freedom of speech.
Teachers are now “reminded” to:
1) “Raise issues and concerns regarding basic education via formal and appropriate DepEd channels, either directly to the Office of the Secretary or through the concerned Assistant Secretary or Undersecretary, without resorting to any political or third-party intervention or accommodation.”
Knowing the culture within DepEd, good luck trying to reach out to these people! I know how much they LOVE hearing about concerns.
2) “Avoid relationships, interaction, and communication, including following social media with learners outside of the school setting, except if they are relatives.”
– Connecting to students via social media, especially during this era of blended learning, has become necessary. Let’s see how this can be implemented!
3) “Shall not disparage DepEd and must always be mindful of the reputation and honor of the organizaiton.”
– This is the most problematic part of DepEd Order #49-2022. There is a huge difference between “disparaging” the organization and giving feedback or constructive criticism on how things can be made better.
However, onion-skinned leaders – and DepEd has an oversupply of them! – are sure to abuse to this provision.