'Dramatic': Briones slams teachers who turned restrooms into faculty rooms

MANILA, Philippines – Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Briones slammed the teachers who turned their school’s restroom as faculty room saying they had a choice.
"Dramatic”: Briones slams teachers who turned restrooms into faculty rooms

Briones gave a scathing remark about several teachers from Bacoor National High School who decided to use old restrooms as their faculty room. She said, “Tiningan namin yan. Ang choice ng teachers dahil nangangailangan, malaki ang enrolment, na delayed ang budget natin, na late ang paggawa ng school buildings. They had a choice to use the laboratory rooms but of course, it’s more dramatic, more touching if they use the toilets.”

“So you have to be able to balance. Remember my dear, we have 67,000 schools, you pick out one school where the teachers converted toilets into an office when they have a choice having office in the laboratory rooms,” she added.

Briones ended, “So, choice iyan ng mga teachers. It’s very attractive to well balanced reporters, [like you].”

abandoned restroom was converted by the teachers to use as faculty room in Cavite
An abandoned restroom was converted by the teachers to use as faculty room | Photo Courtesy: Facebook/Maricel Herrera

Maricel Herrera, a teacher and faculty president of Bacoor National High School recently uploaded photos of how the teachers converted a dilapidated restroom into the teachers’ offices.

She said that a week before class opening, the teachers were informed that they were having shortages of classroom and that their faculty room needs to be used by the students for the meantime.

While it’s true that other rooms were offered such as the library, principal’s office and laboratory rooms, Herrera said they were quite far from the classrooms. They would only have a hard time carrying their instructions materials, she said.

Herrera added that the alternatives offered also do not have enough space to accommodate the 240 teachers of the school.

Herrera’s post was captioned with, “Licensed Professional Teacher. Marami may Masteral Degree /units. After class syempre gusto ni teacher mapahinga kahit saglit, makapag relax naman. Saan siya titigil pansamantala? Sa ilalim ng hagdan at dating CR. Ang masaya nun sa bulsa pa niya galing ang pinagpaayos. Kulang na nga ang sweldo gagastusan pa nya ang sana ay maayos n faculty room. Kaya next time pag may parent na naghanap s teacher... Ang isasagot... Hanapin nyo po s mga ilalim ng hagdan o CR.”

The post had earned the ire of many teachers and also netizen who lambasted DepEd for neglecting the teachers’ needs.

Meanwhile, Anita Rom, principal of Bacoor National High School had warned that charges might be filed against Herrera for the viral photos. They are eyeing to file an administrative case, cyberlibel and destruction of government property.

Rom said she didn’t issue any order for teachers to use the toilets and offered the big laboratory rooms instead. She also shared her disappointment with the teachers because the locations she offered such as library, conference room and social hall can accommodate up to 700 people.

Rom added that due to Herrera’s post, the school and DepEd became targets of harsh opinion and comments from the public. She said, "Ang sinira ay hindi lang imahe ng Bacoor National High School kundi buong imahe ng DepEd (Department of Education).”

She also added that a faculty room is not required at all. "Ang faculty room is not mandated by the DepEd. Ang function ng teacher ay magturo at hindi magpahinga sa faculty room.”

Classes opened on June 3 in all public schools nationwide with 27.2 million learners from kinder, elementary, junior high school, and senior high school for School Year 2019-2020.

— Sally, The Summit Express

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