Teachers’ Wallets Struggle with ‘Catch-Up Fridays’

Teachers’ Wallets Struggle with ‘Catch-Up Fridays

When we try to make education better, sometimes our good plans don’t turn out as expected. This is what’s happening to many teachers in public schools who are paying from their own money to support a new program called “Catch-Up Fridays.” This program by the Department of Education (DepEd) in the Philippines aims to help students become better readers. However, it’s facing some problems, especially with students not showing up.

Teachers, who want to help out, find themselves in a tough spot because they have to buy the materials needed for this reading program. Benjo Basas, who leads the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC), talks about how teachers are spending their own money, around P300 every month, to buy these materials. Although some teachers are lucky to get materials for free from their schools, many are not.

The program doesn’t give grades for Friday activities, which makes some students think it’s okay to skip school on those days. To solve this, some teachers use their own money to buy snacks and candies as prizes to make students want to come. This shows how much teachers care, but it also shows the extra work and money they are putting into a program that should have more support.

DepEd says they want to keep the program going and are asking for feedback to make it better. But they haven’t directly addressed the issue of teachers spending their own money yet. As the end of the school year comes closer, everyone is looking to see if DepEd will make changes based on the feedback from teachers.

This situation makes us think about how important it is to fully support educational programs. Teachers and students need the right materials and support to succeed. Hopefully, by working together, a better way forward can be found that doesn’t put extra pressure on teachers’ wallets.