DepEd mulls holding of classes on certain Saturdays

DepEd mulls holding of classes on certain Saturdays

/ 07:27 PM May 13, 2024

First COVID, now heat: Online schooling returns to PH

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MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Education (DepEd) is considering the holding of make-up classes on certain Saturdays.

This plan is meant to cope with the possible shortage of classroom days brought by the ending of School Year (SY) 2024-2025.

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During the hearing of the House committee on basic education and culture on Monday, DepEd Director Leila Areola said SY 2024-2025 is expected to start on July 29 and end on March 31, 2025 — which means that may only be 163 days for the this academic year.

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To achieve the 180 school days per school year — which is deemed ideal by DepEd — Saturday classes may be held.

READ: DepEd pushing for early end of school year due to intense heat 

Areola, however, said they will still need to consult stakeholders over this issue.

“Although we still still need to be consulting our teachers and that of our learners. Because of the aggressive shift, we’ll be reducing the school year to something like 163 (days),” she told lawmakers.

“So we’re considering the conduct of Saturday classes, most likely, but it’s not going to be every Saturday,” she said.

“There will just be certain Saturdays that we need to conduct, for example, distance learning, so that they will be able to cover the competencies that might not be covered with the reduction of the school year, Mr. Chair,” she noted.

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When committee chairperson and Pasig Rep. Roman Romulo asked where in the country’s laws or DepEd’s orders was it stated that 180 school days would be the minimum for a school year, Areola said that there is no such law.

Areola said while laws on the matter only dictate a maximum number of school days, the average number of school days since SY 1993-1994 was at 203.

“Actually, Mr. Chair, when we went over the two RAs… so you’re correct when you mentioned that. RA No. 7797 actually mentioned this – the lengthening of the school year until 220 (days) and there’s no law actually that speaks about the 180 (days) as the minimum,” she said.

“However, if we take a look at the total number of school days from that or from School Year 1993-1994 to present, Mr. Chair, the average number of school days even is 203,” she noted.

“And I have to mention that when the curriculum was prepared, they calculated actually the 180 days as much as possible to be the minimum number of school days,” she added.

READ: Marcos hopes old academic calendar back by ‘next year’ 

Kabataan party-list Rep. Raoul Manuel then asked Areola when the proposal would be decided on, to which the DepEd official replied that consultations would be completed within the month of May.

READ: DepEd: Gradual return to old school calendar starting SY 2024-2025

Proposals to return to the old academic calendar have been raised since the start of the dry season, where several classes were canceled because of the intense heat inside the classrooms.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. hopes to have the old school calendar — running from June to March — be back by SY 2024-2025.

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According to DepEd, they will gradually return to the old academic calendar, which was altered when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country in March 2020.

TAGS: DepEd, School Year

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