MANILA, Philippines—Saturday “make-up” classes are not necessary—not just yet.
Some public school teachers are not convinced that there is a need to have students come to class an extra day to catch up on lost time after the spate of class suspensions last month due to inclement weather.
Members of the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) on Friday wrote Education Secretary Armin Luistro, asking him to defer the holding of Saturday make-up classes on the ground that the school calendar still has remaining “buffer days” to absorb the lost school days when local officials suspended classes last month.
The teachers also asked the Department of Education (DepEd) to come up with “clear and unified” guidelines on make-up classes as the holding of these special classes differ among schools in the same city or municipality. Some public schools have already held make-up classes last Saturday.
Several public and private schools in areas in Metro Manila, Central Luzon and Calabarzon that were affected by heavy floods last month will hold classes every Saturday this month.
“While we recognize the authority of the schools division superintendents in imposing such order, we would like to appeal to the department to defer the scheduled make-up classes [today] and wait for the clarification and unified guidelines from the Office of the Secretary,” TDC chair Benjo Basas said.
Basas said based on reports they have received, the schedule of make-up classes differ for every school, even for schools within the same city or municipality.
“Thus, it creates confusion and comparison between and among the teachers in the field,” Basas said.
While the authority to suspend classes lies in the city or municipal mayors, the DepEd field officials from school principals, district supervisors, division superintendents and regional directors are empowered to impose make-up classes.
Basas said the 201 school days in the official calendar for school year 2013 to 2014 already allows for 21 buffer days in case of local and national holidays, special school events or emergency disruptions.
DepEd requires 180 teaching and learning days or days in a school year.
Basas said the DepEd main office announced last Aug. 23 that “there may still be enough buffer days at this time of the school year so as not to require make-up classes following the days lost this week.”