Assistant Minority Leader France Castro on Tuesday urged the Department of Education to provide adequate material support for teachers and students using the blended distance learning program to help their mental health.
Castro said DepEd’s mental health helpline is a welcome step, but giving adequate support for the blended distance learning and genuine academic ease should also be a priority to help students and teachers cope with the stress.
“Many students and teachers suffer from added stress with the demands of blended distance learning. Families of many pupils are affected by decrease or worse, loss of income. Many families barely have enough for their basic everyday needs due to the worsening economic crisis. Students do not only have to think about their lessons every day, but also how they can help their parents,” Castro said.
“Teachers are also burdened by the demands of blended distance learning and now also by the preparation being done for the face-to-face classes with minimal support from the DepEd,” she added.
She said in many cases, teachers do not have internet allowance and have to provide for their own gadgets.
“With insufficient funding for distance learning, it is up to the teachers to find funds to ensure that there are enough printed modules for their students so that education can continue amid the pandemic,” Castro said.
“The primary responsibility in providing safe, quality and accessible education lies in the hands of the national government. Teachers have gone beyond what is asked from them and beyond what is provided by the government to make sure that they still are able to fulfil their duties as frontliners in education. The Duterte administration must still address its shortcomings in education and prioritize education in the 2022 national budget,” she added.