Teachers’ resourcefulness takes out loans for classroom structure in preparation for the limited face-to-face classes. Should this be reasonable? School MOOE: Where are you?
Classroom structure is very significant in preparing for face-to-face classes. Teachers take out loans from various lenders to use for their classroom structuring. Teachers will not hesitate to take out loans for their consumption as well as for the classroom structure. Many claimed that teachers made the classroom structure due to their initiatives. Well, it’s true, but don’t abuse our teachers for spending their money freely to structure their classrooms.
DepEd should also find ways to help teachers. Some teachers were forced to spend their own money on classroom structure, even though they had insufficient income, to be recognized for their efforts and to be appreciated by the principal. Even though their monthly income is not enough to support their family, they would slice it or take out loans to keep their classroom looking flawless in the eyes of their kids and visitors. Classroom structure is the teachers’ priority, despite the financial crisis.
I believe that teachers are being compelled to do so because certain principals are pressuring their teachers to do so in the classroom structure without any financial support or contributions from MOOE. This is a common problem because, even before the epidemic, teachers were accustomed to paying for the classroom structure out of their own pockets. After all, the principals or bookkeepers always reported that all of MOOE’s funds had been spent.
An independent school or Implementing Unit (IUs) has a permanent bookkeeper and a disbursing officer who function as financial officers in the school. But the two finance officers should also be oriented, have constant communication, have cognate ideas in purchasing items and, most importantly, have a good relationship. The bookkeeper should consistently claim that there is no money in the MOOE even though there are no updates for the monthly expenses of the school.
In the one-on-one interview by USEC, Annalyn Sevilla would answer the questions as to why the teachers were taking loans for the use of classroom structure. This is the flow of the interview. Meanwhile, there have been some reports that some teachers are taking out loans to prepare a classroom for face-to-face classes. Is there any support we can give to teachers? All teachers who are abused financially should also receive justice. The teachers are resourceful and creative, but not to the extent that they would have to give up their salaries just to structure their classrooms.
According to USEC Annalyn M. Sevilla, “we already have department orders on the use of our school MOOE and we remind teachers to please coordinate and communicate with their school heads or principals.” You have to know where your school’s MOOE is being spent so that you don’t need to give out of pocket.
In addition, USEC Annalyn Sevilla said that “we also acknowledge teachers, and we thank you for being resourceful and creative.” However, you should not be abused, and that is something that we are also trying to resolve because we are now providing an email address and telephone number for our teachers to report to. If there is abuse, malpractice, or misuse of our public funds, we can report it to us. You know, your salary is actually for your family, but we also know that there are teachers who do it on their initiative, and we thank them”.
We have it in the information sheet that we have provided: 09194560027 and 09959218461. [email protected] is the email address. This is our DEP action center. USEC Annalyn Sevilla gave the deped cellphone numbers and email add if teachers can notice that they are already abused and there was something fishy on the use of MOOE.
USEC Annalyn Sevilla continued answering the questions about taking teachers’ loans just to structure their classrooms, and she answered all about the use of MOOE. According to her, I am comfortable talking about this because we have funding. The department of Education has funding for its school MOOE, which means maintenance and other operating expenses, and for the implementation of our face-to-face classes under our current budget.
We have budgets, for example, repair of schools, quick response funds, learning materials, and, of course, the preparation of face-to-face classes. We have already issued a lot of DepEd guidelines on how they can use their funds, and it includes production and also provision of their protective equipment like masks, alcohol, maintenance of their classrooms, and minor rehabilitation.
However, we also acknowledge and are very thankful to teachers who are so resourceful and creative that they want to add more meaningful enhancements to their classroom and the DepEd can only provide the basic ones because even if we want to give them full funding, the budget is not enough. We have about 30 billion for this year for all our 45, 000 schools for school MOOE, and aside from that, we have given them an additional 1 billion total nationwide for them to add other things that they need, and we are giving this to schools who have qualified for our progressive expansion face-to-face.
But she did mention the schools right now. What are the areas affected by this supposed lack of funding to prepare for these face-to-face classes? May we perhaps know what percentage of the schools are preparing for face-to-face classes? You’re saying that there’s only a limited number of schools given the additional funding and so if the teachers are so inclined to enhance their classrooms and the school facilities, well, this will not be covered by Deped anymore?
She mentioned that we would encourage the teachers to coordinate and discuss with their school heads and principals what the authorized expenses that they can reimburse are. For example, if paying in advance for authorized alcohol and masks, they indicate to provide the receipt and ask for the reimbursement. However, other things that are not covered by our guidelines, so we have about three department orders telling what are the authorized expenses, then they cannot reimburse anymore.
She continued, “We are thankful and recognize their initiatives. We all know some teachers are adding more things, like, for example, curtains or other things that they would like to add to get the interest of the students and also motivate them to go back to school. These are the things that I said should be coordinated with our school heads because the teachers have the right to also know how the funds are being prioritized and used by their principals or school heads.
She said that there is some available funding from the local government, which we call the special education fund, and I also have that in my office, as they also report to me. More or less, about 50%, or $15 billion, is a contribution from the local government, so all in all, we can say that we have 45 billion available for our public schools, including special education funds from the local government.
However, there is an equity issue that we are trying to resolve right now, meaning the higher the class or the level of a city or municipality, the more local funding they have, and it is unfortunate or unfair for schools that have more enrollees and yet they have no special education fund from the local government unit.
That is where I also included in our computation or formula the additional funding that we are providing to our schools. The lower the SEF contribution, the higher we will try to subsidize them, and the more they have from the local government fund, like, for example, Makati, Pasig, Manila, and Quezon City, the less we will provide for additional MOOE for these schools.
These are the answers from USEC Annalyn Sevilla. They have a budget for some things to do in the classroom structure, but it depends on the school’s MOOE and SEF funds. If DepEd truly cares about teachers, why shouldn’t they provide a significant increase in instructional materials? Teachers spend their own money on beautification or anything that resembles their classroom becoming an enchanted place to entice students to enter their classes. They should give sympathy to our teachers who work devotedly at their work just to cope with the learning needs of the students.
MOOE budget to small schools should also be added to ensure that the teachers will be catered to their needs in their classroom structure. Although not all things are provided, at least some things are included from the MOOE lists, and the teachers’ loans should not be added. – Doki | Helpline PH