DepEd Plans Saturday Classes

DepEd Plans Saturday Classes

The Department of Education (DepEd) is considering holding classes on some Saturdays to compensate for fewer school days in the upcoming school year. This change comes as DepEd plans to revert to the old school calendar.

During a recent hearing by the House of Representatives committee on basic education and culture, Leila Areola, DepEd’s director for curriculum and instruction-Bureau of Learning Delivery, shared that school year (SY) 2024-2025 will start on July 29 and end on March 31 next year. SY 2025-2026 will start in June next year.

Due to these changes, the number of school days will decrease from the current 180 to about 163 days. Areola mentioned that DepEd needs to consult with teachers and students about this significant reduction.

To cover the lost school days, DepEd is considering holding classes on certain Saturdays. Areola clarified that this will not be every Saturday. Instead, they might use some Saturdays for distance learning to ensure that all necessary subjects are covered.

Read: Saturdays and Sundays of teachers belong to their families so principals should stop giving them work on those days

Committee chair and Pasig City Rep. Roman Romulo noted that there is no law requiring a minimum of 180 school days. While the law sets the maximum number of school days at 220, the 180-day minimum has been a practice since 1990. Bukidnon 4th District Rep. Laarni Lavin Roque suggested removing the 180-day minimum since it is not legally required.

Philippine Elementary School Principals Association president Ferdinand Millan expressed no objection to the changes but suggested including asynchronous learning and occasional Saturday classes. Millan also recommended adding vitamins to school programs to keep students healthy and providing teachers with comfortable uniforms and health benefits, such as hospitalization and life insurance.

The House committees have invited Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte and officials from other government agencies to discuss a new Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC). This JMC aims to integrate technical and vocational education and training (TVET) into the senior high school curriculum to improve students’ employability.