On the DepEd’s claim that it can accommodate all displaced SHS students

READER’S VIEWS - The Freeman

Teachers Dignity Coalition (TDC) and Samahan ng Progresibong Kabataan (SPARK) welcome the pronouncements made by various stakeholders on the issue of the cessation of the Senior High School (SHS) program at State and Local Universities and Colleges (SUCs/ LUCs). It is our ardent wish that we all work together to avoid exacerbating the education crisis that has already beset us by mechanically shutting down the program without ample consideration of its impacts on teachers and learners alike.

We assert that with the Department of Education’s (DepEd) outstanding classroom backlog of about 165,000, accommodating displaced SHS students will be the main concern. It would mean classes in public schools would be congested, which will lead to overburdening our teachers. The DepEd should consider the geographic spread of the displaced students so as to prevent enrolling them in schools miles away from their residence, which will bear additional costs to their families.

Yet, another default response of the DepEd to the perennial problem of congestion is to encourage the students to transfer to private schools where they can avail of vouchers to subsidize their schooling under the GASTPE program.

The prevalence of these schools is a challenge not only endured by students and their parents but also by our teachers and the general taxpaying public as well. We call on the DepEd to release the audit of the schools that have accessed the GASTPE program and their evaluation of these questionable schools.

Teachers Dignity Coalition

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