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VP Robredo decries unfair logistical, financial burden on teachers amid COVID-19 pandemic

Teachers should not be put at risk and made to shoulder expenses for printing modules to perform their duties amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Vice President Leni Robredo said Thursday.

Robredo made the call in her address during the Department of Education (DepEd) Region V's Virtual National/World Teachers’ Day Celebration.

“Teachers are risking their life and limb, exposing themselves to virus. They even use money out of their pocket for bond papers and printers for printing the modules. Kasama ito sa buhay maestra, but this is so unfair,” Robredo said.

“Swerte iyong iba kasi they are under proactive LGUs [who support them in funding the printing modules], but not everyone is similarly situated,” she added.

Robredo then cited that in Region 5 alone, 90% of teachers are on modular learning methods and 10% are using online teaching.

Given the situation, Robredo said that her office has earmarked funding for the Modular Distance Learning Training Program to address this problem.

“COVID-19 has put our life on hold, but this does not mean that the education should stop. Our office has earmarked funding for the Modular Distance Learning Training program. It will be fit for teachers of all grade levels, and educators need not worry about overhead expenses,” Robredo said.

“We really need to adopt, speed up, scale up because this is the future. If we don’t act now, we could continue to fall behind, leaving our teachers and learners struggling,” she added.

The funding from the Office of the Vice President, Robredo said, will be granted to DepEd Region 5.

“I wish I had more resources, I wish I had more mandate para matulungan kayo, pero with what little we have, handang-handa po kami pagaanin ang dala-dala ninyo,” Robredo, a former teacher herself, said.

Robredo has been calling for creating more community learning hubs and resumption of face-to-face classes in areas where there is no COVID-19 transmission, saying that this would maximize the limited resources of the government, as well as the teachers and students, given that printing modules and a stable internet connection are expensive.

The government, however, has maintained that the modular and online learning should work to ensure the safety of the populace. —KBK, GMA News