DAVAO CITY— A teacher’s group in the region is worried over the delays on the teachers’ scheduled training on poll automation.
Gloria Arcenas, secretary-general of Kamkem-Alliance of Concerned Teachers, said teachers who will serve as Board of Election Inspectors in the upcoming May 10 elections needed to be trained as soon as possible since unlike the previous election exercises, it will already be an automated one.
“The earlier the Commission on Elections (Comelec) schedules the training for teachers, the better,” Arcenas said.
Myfel Paluga, Kamkem-Act regional coordinator, said teachers play a crucial role in this year’s election, given the major changes in the technology that will be used.
“We fear that the lack of knowledge we have on poll automation would make us inept for the task,” he said, “Any lapse on our part would make us more vulnerable to possible manipulation of the election results.”
The teachers’ training was earlier scheduled in January but has been moved to March 18.
First district election officer Danilo Cullo said it is better to schedule the BEI’s training in March so that the teachers will not easily forget what they learn during the actual elections in May.
Arcenas said the Comelec betrays a condescending attitude toward the teachers.
The partylist group Act Teachers also raised concerns earlier about the Comelec’s readiness for the poll automation in May after the results of the simulation tests the Comelec conducted in some parts of the country.
Act Teachers had reported that in the town of Taguig, Comelec struggled for two hours transmitting mock election results from the Precinct Count Optical Scan machines in two public schools to the Comelec’s central server. In Davao, the Comelec also experienced glitches during the mock elections.
Paluga said the teachers will also vote during the elections, hence, they also need to know how to use the machines. “We need to ensure that the teachers’ will not be disenfranchised just because they don’t know how to use the PCOS machines,” he said.
He said the Comelec’s unpreparedness might result to a possible failure of elections. (Grace S. Uddin/ davaotoday.com)