[Press Release] DEPED asked to officially clarify the reported extension of SY 2020-2021 | TDC

#HumanRights #Teachers

DEPED asked to officially clarify the reported extension of SY 2020-2021

The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) has asked the DepEd to officially respond to a circulating Facebook and SMS message from unknown sources which claims that there will be changes in the schedules of the on-going school year beginning today, March 1, 2021.

“May we respectfully ask your office about the veracity of the said message which is widely circulating since last week,” said Benjo Basas, TDC National Chairperson in a letter addressed to DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones.

The message, TDC said is purportedly an “important announcement and instruction” from a certain “RD” that based on the “ManCom” meeting last February 24, an academic break from March 1 to March 12 will be imposed and an “Inset” for teachers is set on March 15 to March 19. Furthermore, the message announced that the schedule of Quarters 3 and 4 will be moved to March 22 to May 15 and May 17 to July 10, respectively. Finally, it says that the new closing date for the current school year is on July 10, 2021.

The source of the message, however is still unknown, whether there is a ManCom (Management Committee) meeting of the DepEd is yet to be confirmed by the authorities. Earlier though, the DepEd through Dr. Diosdado San Antonio, the undersecretary in-charge for curriculum and instruction said that the agency is planning to extend the current school year and provide a “two-week summer break” before the start of school year 2021-2022. The proposal met criticisms from the teachers and the general public and even became a trending topic in social media.

Basas said that they have received several queries on the legitimacy of the message but could not confirm if it was really coming from a DepEd official as the text would claim. Thus, the group urged the DepEd to release official memorandum or statement so as not to further create confusion in the field. He said that there were reports that teachers were told to prepare for the two-week academic break for learners and in-service training for teachers and that classes will resume on March 22. The general instruction from school officials in the field still, was to wait for an official memorandum.

“Clearly, there are conflicting instructions. And we hope the DepEd would immediately clear this matter to prevent further confusion in the field,” Basas said emphasizing that both the learners and teachers need such break. “We believe that we should give our students a break from taxing academic activities and our teachers from stressful and physically exhausting tasks,” he added.

The TDC also asked the DepEd about its plans on the opening date of school year 2021-2022, according the group, the planned ‘two-week break’ between the two academic years “will not be acceptable.”

“Teachers are entitled to a two-month school break and if the DepEd will modify the scheduled end of current school year, they should also provide for a two-month vacation for our teachers who have been tirelessly working since June 1 of 2020,” Basas ended.

The TDC once again has formally asked the DepEd management for a dialogue to discuss this and other equally important matters. #

For details:
Benjo Basas, 09273356375
March 1, 2021

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