DepEd: No definite date YET for school ‍opening

By: Mariejo Ramos, Meg Adonis - Philippine Daily Inquirer | May 01,2021 - 10:40 AM

The Department of Education’s (DepEd) announced plan to open the next school year on Aug. 23 is just one of the options officials will be proposing to President Duterte who will have the final say on the matter.

“The Aug. 23 start date proposal is only one of the options since DepEd is mandated to open the school year not later than the last day of August under the same law unless the President intervenes,” the DepEd said in a statement, without elaborating on the other options.

On Tuesday, Diosdado San Antonio, undersecretary for DepEd, said the agency was eyeing Aug. 23 as the opening date of school year 2021-2022, giving students and teachers only six weeks of vacation, down from the usual eight weeks.

The announced time table heightened complaints from teachers who have been forced to render 77 additional working days because of the extension of school year 2020-2021 “without a single day of leave benefit.”

The calendar for school year 2020-2021 was extended twice by the DepEd, citing the need to allow more than 25 million students and 900,000 teachers to adjust to the new learning modalities, as well as to give way to the annual in-service training for educators conducted in March.

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) said teachers’ proportional vacation pay, or the salary they receive during summer breaks, would be reduced from 80 days to only 59 if the Aug. 23 opening pushes through.

Last month, teachers demanded they be granted additional overtime pay for the 77 extra days they were required to report for work due to the extended school year.

Public schoolteachers have been required to start working since June 1, 2020, or four months before the opening of the school year, in preparation for the implementation of distance learning, according to ACT.

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TAGS: DepEd, opening of classes

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