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ACT to DepEd: Reduce Teacher Tasks, Keep Classroom Aids

ACT to DepEd: Reduce Teacher Tasks, Keep Classroom Aids

Saturday Statement by ACT-NCR: Educators Overburdened with Excessive Tasks

In a statement released on Saturday, the Alliance of Concerned Teachers-National Capital Region (ACT-NCR) argues that the Department of Education (DepEd) should focus on alleviating the heavy workload of teachers instead of stripping classrooms of educational materials and decorations.

Beneficial for Visual Learners, Says Union President

Ruby Bernardo, the President of ACT-NCR, counters DepEd’s recent directive to remove all classroom decorations under Department Order (DO) No. 21, s. 2023. She highlights, “Our teachers firmly believe that the materials posted in our elementary and primary classrooms significantly benefit visual learners.”

DepEd’s New Policy on Classroom Aesthetics

The DepEd has issued a directive under DO No. 21, s. 2023, requiring schools to remove “unnecessary artwork, decorations, tarpaulins, and posters” from classrooms and school grounds. According to the directive, classroom walls should be kept bare, without any posted materials or decorations.

Union Leader Urges DepEd to Refocus Priorities

Bernardo emphasizes that instead of eliminating classroom decorations, DepEd should be concerned with the “unjustifiably excessive tasks assigned to educators who are not adequately compensated.” She adds that visual materials are not only conducive to learning but also represent an investment of time and resources by the teachers themselves.

Vice President Sara Duterte Stands by “Clean and Orderly” Policy

In contrast, Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte stresses that this year’s “Brigada Eskwela,” or annual school maintenance program, aims to make schools “functional, clean, and orderly.” During an interview on Aug. 16, Duterte insisted that all classroom decorations must be removed.

Duterte Takes Down Portrait During School Visit

On her visit to a Brigada Eskwela activity in Bansalan, Davao del Sur, on Aug. 17, the education secretary was seen removing her own portrait from a classroom wall, adhering to the new policy.

Additional Policy Changes

Alongside the classroom decoration removal, DO No. 21 also discontinues annual competitions like the Best Implementing School Awards, Hall of Fame Awards, and Brigada Plus at the national level. According to DepEd, this step is aimed to “prevent schools, school heads, teachers, and other personnel from conducting solicitation activities to fund Brigada Eskwela initiatives.