(By: Janice T. Forbes, Bataan National High School-Junior High School-Annex, Philippines)
No Filipino child Left behind (Act of 2010…) if that is so, then, teachers also should not be left behind!
The saddest story that anybody would not want to hear is for an authority to oblige himself to help
others. But it is his mandated duty as a public servant; however, an individual may not be aware that he also
needs help as well. How can he extend assistance if he himself badly needs it? This is a common predicament I’ve
heard from eight public servants, and they are TEACHERS of public schools.
According to DepEd Order No. 32, series 2020, the implementation of the Basic Education-Learning
Continuity Plan (BE-LCP) demands a holistic approach and a stronger partnership among schools, households,
and communities. This order was released nationwide due to the COVID-19 breakout. Most of the policy
guidelines of DepEd were calibrated or adjusted to make the situation brought about by this virus less felt and
handled under control. Because it attacked the whole nation where each unit down to the community has
experienced its tremendous impact. No one can imagine the magnitude of this breakout, and triggered the
mental health of all individuals, including the young learners.
One of the rationales stated in DO 32, s. 2020, DepEd personnel and TEACHERS need to be alert in
dealing with the additional tasks, challenges, and new expectations during this New Normal by conforming to
DO. 12, s. 2020, requiring the complementary roles of parents, guardians, other household partners, and
members of the community to support the learning process of the students at home. This calls additional human
resources to act as learning support aides intended for the learners who 1) cannot manage independent learning,
including learners with disabilities and special needs; 2) do not have a household member or any responsible
adult to provide instructional support and facilitate distance learning delivery modalities; and 3) households with
parents/guardians with full-time jobs who may not be able to monitor and guide the child’s learning at home.
These learning support Aides will collaborate and render assistance to teachers. Our division has called them
Learning Facilitators as stipulated in RA No. 11494, otherwise known as Bayanihan to Recover as One Act,
instructing to realign the unused budget from MOOE just to provide a fund to hire a teacher assistant or aide.
In reality, not all public schools can have a learning support aide or learning facilitator, or teacher assistant, particularly in secondary schools. Because of the belief that high school students are all mature enough
to manage their own learning. They are not that vulnerable as compared to grade-schoolers whose
metacognitive skills are not yet developed at that stage. However, there are no exemptions in giving assistance
to all types of learners and still, teachers have been extending their help to those students who are not self directed in learning and whose parents or guardians cannot provide them instructional support. School may
conduct any Community-based Project which aims to help the community in terms of educating them based on
their capability, needs, and available resources through various community projects and programs such as adopt a-community and adopt-a-learner.
Hopefully, the higher authority will accept the reality that there are teachers who are still doing their
jobs beyond their duties – an extension of service with all their might just to conform to R.A. No. 11494, D.O. 32
and D.O. 12, s. 2020 without hesitation. The struggles that they are facing are no different with the challenges
that students are battling with during these trying times. Nobody can ever invalidate the hardships and sacrifices
that these heroes are doing just to perpetuate quality education amidst pandemic. They are the prime movers,
the front liners and our invincible warriors.