DepEd works with DOH to address teacher suicides

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Education confirmed that they are working closely with the Department of Health to help address the issue of suicides among teachers.

DepEd works with DOH to address teacher suicides
Education Secretary Leonor Briones says DepEd is looking into the incidences of teacher suicides | Photo Courtesy: Facebook/Leonor Briones

DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones shared that she investigated 3 cases of teacher suicides and believed that all were “very different from each other.”

Briones said, “We do not consider ourselves as experts in what motivates a person to do this act. To look into these, we are coordinating with the Department of Health.”

The education secretary added that to conclude that heavy workloads lead to suicide is “dangerous” and “very deep.”

“We can’t comment on whether a lesson plan causes suicide. It has to be studied first before drawing such conclusion. Everyone in government is overworked and under pressure,” Briones added.

Last August, the Teachers Dignity Coalition and Alliance Concerned Teachers pointed at DepEd and blamed “heavy workloads” for the teacher suicides. They called on DepEd to halt its new performance rating system, and the required use of daily lesson logs and detailed lesson plan.

TDC chair Benjo Basas said, “Two cases of suicide in just two months purportedly due to work-related issues should alarm the DepEd and take necessary steps. We have been raising the issue of overburden due to clerical tasks required of teachers.”

Secretary Briones said that DepEd is finding ways to help teachers cope with mental stress, working closely with DOH. They have also reduced the workload of teachers but pointed out that the law hinders non-teaching personnel to help.

— Sally, The Summit Express

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