On Wednesday, Sara Duterte, who serves as both Vice President and Education Secretary, maintained that ACT Teachers party list's proposal to employ 30,000 new teachers and build 50,000 new classrooms annually is unfeasible. She also alleged that the party-list organization ignored gun battles close to schools that involved communist rebels.
The Vice President highlighted that the Department of Education (DepEd) is aware of the challenges affecting the education sector, and the employment of teachers and administrative personnel, along with the construction of additional classrooms and school structures, is part of the identified solutions that the agency is presently working on.
“While these are pursued along with the implementation of other essential reforms, DepEd should not only be limited to dispensing old-fashioned solutions but must also innovate. May I reiterate that ACT Teachers' suggestions were both unrealistic and impossible — presented to shame the government and deceive the public into believing that the hiring of teachers and increasing the education budget were their ideas,” Duterte said.
“The Department will not surrender or fall for the mad ruse of a party-list group that has mastered the art of duplicity,” she added.
Hiring 30K teachers impossible – VP Sara Duterte
The Education Secretary further contended that ACT Teachers party-list should denounce the “terrorism in Masbate” perpetrated by the New People's Army (NPA), which led to the cancellation of classes in six towns of the province, affecting over 55,000 students and 2,815 personnel.
“We should only take ACT Teachers seriously if it publicly condemns NPA atrocities in Masbate and all other NPA terroristic activities that hampered children's learning across the country,” Duterte said.
“The real victims here are the learners, and the Department of Education is pouring in all our efforts to solve the problem,” she added.
In reaction to the DepEd chief's remarks, France Castro, House Deputy Minority Leader of the ACT Teachers party-list, argued that their call for recruiting 30,000 new teachers and establishing 50,000 new classrooms annually is necessary and pressing. She also noted that this demand was something that the previous administrations of former President Benigno Aquino III and Duterte's father, former President Rodrigo Duterte, worked towards achieving.
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