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Teachers score unclear DepEd order

DepEd logo with faded background photo of students. STORY: Teachers score unclear DepEd order

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MANILA, Philippines — Teachers’ groups have questioned a new Department of Education (DepEd) policy that may force some of them to work even after the end of the school year without compensation.

Under DepEd Order No. 25, teachers are mandated to conduct “remedial classes” for students who failed in not more than two subjects while those with low marks of 75 to 79 in any subject must attend “enrichment classes.”

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Collectively called “end-of-school-year” (EOSY) classes, the remedial and enrichment classes would be conducted from Mondays to Fridays on July 24 to Aug. 12, preferably — according to DepEd — using the face-to-face approach.

According to Teachers’ Dignity Coalition chair Benjo Basas, the policy was confusing because it said that students “shall undergo” the EOSY classes, which meant it was mandatory, although it added that parents must give their consent, indicating that it was voluntary.

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“It’s unclear. It was also not indicated who among the teachers are required to teach in the remedial classes… it is possible that all who gave failing or low grades will be compelled to teach,” he said in a text message to the Inquirer.

Basas called on DepEd officials to issue a clarification, adding that teachers were supposed to go on a two-month break after the end of the current school year.

“We won’t refuse work, especially if it is for children. But the DepEd should also consider the welfare of teachers,” he said in a statement earlier this week.

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) also questioned the “abrupt” and “arbitrary” DepEd order, saying it might prompt some teachers to just raise the grades of students to avoid having to conduct Eosy classes.

Raymond Basilio, ACT secretary general, said on Wednesday that encouraging students to attend classes for an additional two weeks would not solve the learning crisis and learning gaps.

“This is a band-aid solution that will only burden the teachers with no absolute and significant result,” he said.

The group earlier called on the DepEd to give additional compensation to teachers who would conduct remedial classes.

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“DepEd is stealing the vacation of teachers and will force them to work for free,” he said, adding that the department had yet to release their 77-day overtime pay last year.

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