A teachers group in Manila, the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) has urged the Inter-Agency Taskforce to suspend their resumption order by the DepEd citing health conditions. The Department of Education recently made preparations for education workers to work during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Drafting a letter to Health Secretary, Fransisco Duque, the assistant chairman of the IATF, the Union also asked that the department of education health protocols set up in schools and offices should be looked into. The Union also noted faulted the alternative work arrangement for teachers across the country.
ACT laments alternative work arrangement for teachers set by the DepEd
The ACT noted that teachers and casual workers in schools across the country had been asked to report in person to their respective offices. Noting an order that was drafted in the early part of this year, they said they are required to report to their offices without good and adequate health and safety protection”.
According to the order, there is a list of things that high ranking officers can order in their jurisdiction with this recent decision part of the list of things.
Since the implementation of the new order, the teachers group said it has noticed that people that are vulnerable to the coronavirus are not exempted from resuming to their offices. Furthermore, they pointed out that the teachers were given the tasks to disinfect their respective schools as well as go around houses to enroll students for classes.
In the letter, the Union stated that the new order has failed to consider the safety of its members, thereby putting them in great danger as a result of their exposure to the virus.
Preventive measures should be put in place, teachers group says
The Union is at this moment lobbying for the calling off of the order to keep their members safe and sound pending when everything will be calm, and they can return to work safely. They further noted that they would prefer to use an online platform to school the children from home pending when they have a pleasant working environment.
Talking about the measures taken to protect them as stated in the directive, they said the order has failed to address their safety hence the need for the letter.
The teachers group stated that they want the Department of Education to critically look at more preventive measures like the presence of temperature checks, soaps, and running water to ensure their safety. Furthermore, the group wants a sit down with the authorities to be able to craft out modalities that would ensure their safety.
DepEd Secretary meanwhile issued the directive that pending the revised alternative work arrangements for teachers across the country are established, they should still work from home.
… agency’s undersecretaries, assistant secretaries, and regional directors are to determine the appropriate work arrangements in their respective jurisdictions, based on the prevailing community quarantine classification in their location and their work priorities.