DepEd urged to issue schedule guidelines, reduce workload for teachers

Jaehwa Bernardo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 22 2020 06:05 PM

A teacher waits during a ceremonial turn-over and distribution of Learning Continuity Packages for Manila public school teachers and students at the Aurora A. Quezon Elementary School in Manila on August 26, 2020. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA – A teachers’ group on Tuesday urged the Department of Education to issue guidelines on their work schedule and to reduce the workload as educators face burnout in the shift to new modes of teaching prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) said teachers are experiencing “extreme exhaustion due to heavier workload and longer hours” under the remote learning scheme, which was implemented as an alternative to in-person classes.

Teachers have to master the new learning modalities and relay these to both parents and students, learn about the revised basic education curriculum, produce self-learning modules, and attend multiple daily webinars, ACT said.

“Hence, we demand that DepEd urgently issue guidelines on work schedule and reduce teachers’ load in response to additional time and effort demanded by remote learning,” the group said in a statement.

ACT said other tasks are taking up the 2 hours that should be spent for lesson preparation, on top of the 6 hours allotted for teaching time.

Teachers have also complained that they are handling more students than before while attending to “feedback sessions” with parents and responding to concerns of school heads, the group added.

“There really should be safety nets in place, to avoid draining our teachers,” the group said.

DepEd officials have yet to give a response to the ACT’s statement.

Public schools are scheduled to start classes on October 5 while private institutions are allowed to begin earlier as long as they implement distance learning.

In-person classes remain suspended pending the availability of a vaccine against COVID-19, which has sickened over 291,000 in the country.