The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Philippines said the government’s efforts to introduce comprehensive face-to-face classes have been “half-baked”, citing reports received from teachers nationwide.
In a statement, the ACT said it had received at least 85 reports of a severe shortage of classrooms, “forcing schools to hold lessons even in hallways, bleachers, stage, tents and classrooms. divided into two”.
The group said it received 101 reports of lack of school furniture and 120 reports of inadequate books and modules.
Meanwhile, the highest number of reports, at 167, concerned teachers’ excessive teaching and non-teaching workload, while 161 reports reported on the severity of learning gaps and recovery difficulties. of learning.
Ninety-four percent of public schools in the National Capital Region (NCR) resumed five-day in-person classes Nov. 2, more than two years since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
“If our government officials think that learning gaps can automatically be closed once students set foot in school, they are wrong,” ACT President Vladimir Quetua said in a statement. released Wednesday.
“How to truly close the learning gaps without a strong, evidence-based education recovery program and in a less than ideal setting is a monumental challenge for teachers to address, as they themselves have been tasked with more teaching and ancillary duties,” Quetua added.
The teachers’ group then called for long-term solutions.
“I misunderstood and mistreated education for the school year in Hindi, and learning Hindi in the learning crisis,” Quetua said.
Among the group’s proposals are concrete, long-term plans and solutions to address the shortage of 167,000 students in classrooms; hiring at least 147,000 new teachers to reduce class size to 35 students; and employing in each school a nurse, guidance counsellor, property custodian, librarian, security guard, and registrar to free teachers from incidental duties.
It also aimed to reduce the workload of teachers, lowering the required teaching time to four hours a day in order to have enough time for lesson preparation and other teaching-related tasks, and to eliminate excessive paperwork and reporting.
The group called for teachers’ salaries to be increased with timely benefits, including the provision of laptops and internet support to teachers.
“Strong and effective education recovery program based on an objective assessment of learners’ current skills; revise the K-12 curriculum to decongest the curriculum and focus on the fundamentals,” he added.
GMA News Online has sought comment from the Department of Education (DepEd).
The Higher Education Commission (CHED) has also asked higher education institutions (HEIs) to adopt full face-to-face courses or offer blended learning for the second semester of the 2022 to 2023 academic year.
Students and teachers attending face-to-face classes can also now choose to remove their face masks even in classrooms, as the DepEd confirmed on Tuesday that they will adhere to the existing national policy allowing optional masking at the indoors and outdoors amid the COVID-19 pandemic. — BM, GMA integrated news