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Protests play havoc with LET review classes

10 September 2019


 By Vir B. Lumicao

Overseas Filipino workers who are registered to take the licensure examination for teachers on Sept 29 are seeing their preparations for the big day being disrupted by the mass protests rocking the city.
 
This year, 467 education graduates have registered to take the exam. Of these 237 are taking the elementary-level, and 230 the secondary-level, test.
Gemma A. Lauraya
 
According to Gemma A. Lauraya, president of the National Organization of Professional Teachers in Hong Kong, the final review of Dr. Carl Balita had to be cut short to allow the reviewees to go home early and avoid getting caught in protest-related violence. 

“Sometimes we needed to cut short or dismiss our classes earlier so reviewees can go home safely,” Lauraya said via messenger.

In addition, many of those who registered were either absent or could attend only part of the sessions.


“Some were not allowed to leave by their employers for safety reasons, others were allowed to go out only for half a day,” Lauraya said.
 
She said the reviewees are also distracted by the protests when they are outside.

Four NOPT-arranged revew sessions have been held. All of the August classes were shortened, and one replaced with a virtual session.


“Generally, maayos naman ang review kaya lang may mga times na nagkaroon kami ng virtual o online class thru Facebook because of the unrest,” Lauraya said.
 
That meant double time in reviewing because the exam date is approaching, she added.
 
Lauraya said the reviewees have online accounts with the Carl Balita Review Centre where they can answer drill tests and exercises online.
 

The Philippine Overseas Labor Office is coordinating the holding of the LET in Hong Kong with the Professional Regulation Commission as part of the government’s SPIMS or “Sa Pinas Ikaw ang Ma’am, Sir” program.
 
SPIMS aims to attract back teachers who had gone abroad to work as domestic helpers to fill the tens of thousands of vacancies in the public school system, mostly created by the country’s shift to the K-12 program.
 
With the exam just days away, another problem looms: the chosen venue, the Delia Memorial School-Hip Wo in Kwuntong has yet to confirm its availability.

The school was chosen as the venue for the previous two LET exams because of its adequate facilities. Previously they were held at the Bayanihan Centre in Kennedy Town. 
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