EDUCATION experts are urging authorities to put in place safeguards and look after the welfare of teachers when schools resume face-to-face lessons next month.
The call came after a survey by two professors from the University of the Philippines College of Education showed that there are teachers who feel their workload has increased during the testing of classes opposite face to face.
“Teachers felt there were so many issues facing them that it’s not enough for them to bring them all up,” said Dr Liza Marie Campoamor-Olegario, an educational psychologist who was part of those who conducted the investigation.
Campoamor-Olegario said survey results and focus group discussions showed some teachers believe government support for the safe conduct of face-to-face lessons was insufficient.
She said some teachers who took part in the study complained that they had spent their own money to remodel classrooms and have them adhere to health protocols.
Among the concerns raised in the survey are the implementation of physical distancing, lack of health protocol checklists, standard of classroom ventilation, lack of hand washing facilities and regular water supply in schools.
“It’s worrying because it’s the pilot phase, but there have been shortcomings,” added Campoamor-Olegario.
The study also found that there was no training on how school administrators and teachers should run face-to-face classes.
Teachers also claimed that they were not properly guided by the Ministry of Education on these matters.
The study also said “learning loss” had been made worse by the pandemic because the remote learning method used for a year and a half was too “traditional” in design.
The researchers said there should be a “learner-centred” approach that combines the methods used in the conduct of non-formal education.
Dr Mercedes Arzardon, one of the researchers, urged the government to respond to questions raised by teachers.
She said the education department should also consider implementing community and media-based reading and learning improvement programs.
Arzardon said the government needs to re-contextualize alternative delivery methods and the alternative learning system and come up with options for pace, time, place, compressed curriculum and support system.
Rose Bihag, a parent, said there was a huge difference between learning through face-to-face classes and online classes.
She is also worried about the rising number of Covid-19 cases as schools approach the opening on August 22.
“We are feeling mixed emotions as we are still in the midst of the pandemic, the Covid-19 issue is not yet resolved, which is why we are concerned for the safety of our children,” she added. .