(continued from June 27, 2021)
Last week, we were able to discuss even just in passing the latest conundrums and scandals to hit the Department of Education (DepEd), particularly the module that depicted witches as dogs in heat, among a host of other improprieties committed by the agency. Another issue brought up was the low standing of the Philippines in the 2018 PISA examination, which truly reflects the lugubrious state of our education.
A host of other issues- such as dismal internet connectivity, overpriced printing services for modules, error-filled textbooks, lack of in-person or online access to high officials of the DepEd Central Office (except for a select few), and students’ behavior online and offline- are bombarding our newspapers, TV screens, and computer and phone screens to the point of wanting us to lynch those responsible for these major dilemmas.
I am not here to nitpick and do nothing, but the least I can do is to use this column in order to expose the misfeasance and the effrontery of DepEd’s top officials in trying their utmost best to pretend that no educational maladies exist.
To start the ball rolling the second time around, let us all round up DepEd’s long-standing atrocities against our teachers, but this time in relation to their personal well-being and future progress:
B. LONG-STANDING ATROCITIES OF DEPED AGAINST OUR TEACHERS AND THEIR PERSONAL WELL-BEING AND FUTURE PROGRESS
- NOT GIVING TEACHERS AMPLE TIME FOR REST. It is an insult to teachers for DepEd not to provide them with opportunities to relax and stop to smell the flowers. If the agency continues to do so, our teachers might end up being like cadavers. What our teachers need, apart from days off, are more shortened hours because they need to rest their minds and bodies. I know of a teacher, who happens to be one of my close friends, who would do her daily lesson logs (DLL). God forbid, but I would not do such because it is an insult to my time (not that I am saying that I am shirking it, but lesson logs must be done weekly). In fairness to DepEd, they have syllabi now and I hope they make teachers use it instead of forcing them to create their own DLL’s.
- MAKING GRADUATE STUDIES A CAR RACING INSTEAD OF A LEARNING EXPERIENCE. DepEd may not admit this outright, but they turn graduate studies into a car racing spectacle because they pit teachers against one another, therefore making education a dog-eat-dog world. Instead of regarding teachers as mentors, they are being turned into gladiators reminiscent of those who would go for the kill at the Colosseum in Rome or into fighting cocks at the La Loma Cockpit. DepEd must emphasize the fact that graduate studies are opportunities to foster collaboration, to develop friendships, to learn together with friends and classmates, and to develop mental and emotional acuity.
- PAYING TEACHERS ON TIME.It is indeed good news that DepEd will be paying their teachers and staff bimonthly! Back in the olden days, teachers and staff were paid only once a month. Frankly, I learned about it from another good friend of mine, who is a public school teacher. I was appalled upon learning of how and when teachers were paid. Teachers have bills to pay and expenditures to pay off, so Secretary Leonor Briones must lay off and beat it if she would insist that teachers and staff be paid only once a month. Furthermore, forcing teachers to resort to loan sharks is very unconscionable and dehumanizing, not to mention demoralizing. The Duchess of DepEd must also pay bonuses on time and teach teachers and staff how to manage their finances. Moreover, DepEd must not make teachers pay for expenses supposed to be shouldered by DepEd.
- NOT GIVING TEACHERS DUE PROCESS WHENEVER THEY ARE ACCUSED OF COMMITTING TRANSGRESSIONS.DepEd has been known for leaving teachers to fend for themselves and for making them wear a badge of shame whenever they would be accused of work-related felonies. Yes, DepEd is known for being firm, but it must not be punitive but rather reformative. Teachers who have committed honest mistakes (sexual abuse is out of the question, definitely) must be given a chance to redeem themselves so that they would be able to change for the better instead of regressing like mummies inside the pyramids of Egypt losing moisture.
- CORRUPTION AMONG THE TOP BRASS. Secretary Briones should be commended for suspending Dr. Sheila Primicias of the Schools Division Office of Pangasinan for her rampant corruption. Yes, corruption is still there, but what the honorable (and eventually retire-able) secretary did is hopefully a welcome change, because DepEd has been known for turning instances of corruption into cold cases. Corruption among division officials is a major sin because it deprives teachers and staff of opportunities to succeed in their careers and their personal lives. Moreover, it robs everyone’s confidence in DepEd.
In the final iteration of this series, we will shed light on the atrocities of DepEd against our learners.
(to be continued)
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