THE Department of Education should to solve age-old problems on shortages in facilities, learning resources, and teaching and non-teaching personnel. Government officials should not blame and threaten teachers for exposing the true situation in their workplace.
Shortages in school facilities, learning resources, and teaching and non-teaching personnel has been a perennial problem of the public school system that our teachers and students have to face everyday. The case of Bacoor National High School using comfort rooms, corridors and the space under the stairs as faculty rooms is not an isolated case and is not new. Instead of solving the longstanding problem of shortages in facilities, Department of Education Secretary Leonor Briones herself blamed the teachers for using the comfort rooms as faculty rooms to be more dramatic and touchy.
Teacher Maricel Herrera is the faculty president of Bacoor National High School and is the Secretary General of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers in region 4A. She exposed the pathetic and miserable condition of teachers in her school and instead of addressing the problems, government officials are now threatening to file complaints against her. We urge the Department of Education to solve the age-old problem of shortages instead of putting blame and threatening teachers who expose the dire scenes in their schols and are just fighting for better working conditions.
Teachers have been burdened with tons of additional paperwork outside their teaching tasks. It is only just that they be given space to work on the numerous paperwork that the Department of Education requires them to accomplish. Faculty rooms and other facilities both for students and teachers should be a necessity; they are not luxuries like what the principal of Bacoor National High School implied. In regions like the NCR and Davao with accredited unions and Collective Negotiation Agreements, the government even committed to provide teachers with faculty spaces. The needs of teachers in one region should not be different in another.
Government should address the complaints and demands of teachers. Teachers should not be blamed and threatened for exposing the true conditions and situations that they have to face in their work space. Let us not be allergic to the truth and dissent based on that truth.
Teachers using comfort rooms, corridors and spaces under the stairs as faculty rooms is a result of a continued neglect of the government and the refusal to give sufficient funding for construction of adequate learning and working spaces. The expose of teacher Maricel and others like her should open the administration’s eyes and devote more funds for the needs of our teachers and students, instead of corruption-laden pork. –Antonio Tinio and France Castro, representatives, ACT Teachers