Seven out of ten teacher respondents find the government preparations deficient.
Alliance of Concerned Teachers conducted a School Preparedness Survey aimed to assess the readiness of schools to undergo an “alternating class transition” upon having face-to-face and blended learning set-up which will take take place a week before the class opening in Basic Education.
“Teachers think that the biggest failures of the government lie in ensuring enough useable classrooms for the resumption of face-to-face classes sufficient budgetary support for health protection and education resources, and laying out a clear plan and concrete guidelines on how classes should be conducted so that education can recover from the learning crisis,” said ACT in their statement.
ACT conducted an online survey among 1,022 public school teachers nationwide from August 8 to 14, 2022 to probe the teachers’ assessment of their school’s readiness for the school reopening.
86% of the total respondents were classroom teachers from the National Capital Region, while the remaining 14% came from the rest of the regions in the Philippines.
According to ACT, the dismal state of the school’s preparedness for the class opening should be the responsibility of the current administration.
“However, as what has always been happening in the past, our teachers, learners and parents are sure to be bearing the brunt of this neglect,” the group added.
The survey found out that:
- About 68% of the teacher-respondents think that their schools are only slightly prepared, if not unprepared for the school opening, while only 26% believe that their schools are sufficiently prepared and a mere 6% said that their schools are highly prepared.
- From 60% to 75% of the overall respondents find the preparations of schools in all of the aspects asked in the survey are as only slightly prepared or not prepared at all.
- Less than half or only 42% of the respondents said that 76% to 100% of students will participate in the face-to-face classes by August 22.
- Only 30% of the teacher-respondents will be teaching in classes which will be studying under pure face-to-face learning modality, while 54% will be teaching in a blend of in-classroom and distance learning modalities, and 16% are still uncertain as to what modality they will have to use in the classes
- Some health measures remain to be insufficient or absent in the majority of schools due to lack of ample funding with 74% of the respondents said that clinic-teachers will still be the ones to man the school clinics, while only 13% said that they have school nurses employed by the Department of Education.
- Learning quality is also jeopardized by constrained budgets and lacking education resources 65% of the teacher-respondents said that teacher’s guides and other instructional materials are insufficient, while only 35% said that they have enough materials to guide them in their teaching duties.
- It is still unclear for 66% of teachers if gadgets will be provided to learners under the distance learning modality, why only 14% said that gadgets will be provided while 19% are certain that there will be no gadgets to be distributed to students.
- 34% of the respondent are still uncertain as to the number of the student population who will participate in face-to-face classes, while 20% cannot say how many students will compose a face-to-face class, 30% have no idea how many times in a week will their classes be meeting in school, and 16% are still in the dark as to what modalities will be employed for their classes.
- About 20% said that there were no clarifications and training conducted as to how teaching should be done in blended learning modalities, 48% said that such are insufficient, while only 31% said that they were provided with ample information.
- Some 45% said that it is unclear still if learner’s assessments will be conducted before proceeding with lessons to determine what has been learned or not learned in the past two years of remote learning. About 40% said that such a directive was issued to them while 15% said that there is no such instruction.
- 48% do not know if there will be adjustments to the content of the lessons to be taught in their grade level and subject, given the apparent learning loss in the past years. Some 41% said that adjustments will be done on such while 11% indicated that no changes will be made.
- About 71% said there were no clarifications given as to what topics and competencies should be given more focus in face-to-face classes and under distance learning modalities. Only 29% said that there were discussions conducted to guide them on the matter.
“At this point, moving the date of the school opening will do little good to anyone. What the government has not done in the past two years, it is unlikely to accomplish in another two or three weeks of school break extension. What moving the date of the school opening will accomplish at most is further delay the delivery of education to our youth and children and letting the government off the hook of its responsibility,” said ACT.
Accordingly, they reiterated the following urgent demands to enable 100% safe school reopening and propel the recovery of education from the crisis:
1. Double the school maintenance and operating budget for:
a. Proper and adequate ventilation of classrooms
b. Adequate hand-washing facilities and water supply
c. Functional school clinic with sufficient supplies and equipment
d. Adequate health and sanitation supplies and implementation of health protocols
2. Cut down the class size to 35 learners or less by building enough classrooms and hiring enough teachers
3. Provide adequate and appropriate teaching and learning resources
4. Hire nurse and utility personnel for every school
5. Ramp up COVID-19 vaccination program for children aged 5-12 and provide fee COVID-19 treatment to teachers and learners
6. Ensure the health protection and benefits of teachers and education support personnel ● Free medical check-up and treatment
● 15 days sick leave for teachers
● Additional compensation for teaching overload and non-teaching duties of teachers, and overtime of teachers and employees
● Timely and adequate Special Hardship Allowance for teachers
7. Financial aid for poorest families
8. Conduct learning assessments nationwide and draw up an evidence-based education recovery plan