ADEQUATE SUPPORT. Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte delivers her speech during the Basic Education Report (BER) 2023 at Sofitel Hotel in Pasay City on Monday (Jan. 30, 2023). She said the government will provide teachers with adequate support to help improve the country's quality of education. (PNA photo by Joseph Razon)

MANILA – Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte on Monday said teachers will never be abandoned, vowing to focus on “upscaling” their knowledge and capacities as educators.

During the Basic Education Report (BER) 2023, Duterte recognized the sacrifices and integrity of teachers despite the pressing issues hounding the education sector.

“We thank you for your sacrifices. Maraming salamat po sa inyong dedikasyon. Hindi po namin kayo pababayaan (We thank you for your dedication. We will not abandon you),” she said in her speech.

She said it is high time to provide adequate support to address lapses in the Kinder to Grade 12 (K-12) curriculum.

“This is not the fault of our teachers... The sad reality is that the system has failed them. This is a system that burdens them with backbreaking and time-consuming administrative tasks, a system that provides no adequate support and robs them of the opportunity to professionally grow and professionally teach, assist and guide our learners,” Duterte said.

“Importante kayo sa pag-unlad ng ating bayan (You are important to the development of our nation). To empower our learners with the relevant skills and knowledge, we shall focus on upscaling your knowledge and capacities as public servants,” she added.

Among the action plans she cited include strict implementation of the merit selection policy for hiring, training and capacity development programs, speedier promotion processes, elimination of non-teaching workloads, and improved benefits, among others.

“We will remove non-teaching tasks and provide administrative officers in schools. We will provide adequate manpower complement in schools, manage teachers' workload and compensate teachers for unique school challenges,” Duterte said.

The DepEd, she said, has also requested the expansion of the Special Hardship Allowances coverage and to address the issues on teachers’ loans, premium remittances and other benefits.

“We will work towards addressing issues affecting the net-take-home pay of teachers… We are also closely coordinating with the GSIS (Government Service Insurance System) for an improved and superior benefits package for all DepEd personnel. We will continuously advocate for additional benefits for our teachers,” Duterte said.

She said other assistance such as free legal service facilities and annual physical examinations are also being worked out for teachers.

Duterte the role of educators is very crucial in improving the country’s education program. (PNA)