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In the face of objections, DepEd nixes two-week summer break idea
A student is seen attending an online class from her home in this undated photo
The STAR/Miguel de Guzman, file

In the face of objections, DepEd nixes two-week summer break idea

(Philstar.com) - March 3, 2021 - 2:06pm

MANILA, Philippines — The education department will no longer push through with plans for a two-week summer break, a move that came under fire from students and teachers already grappling with challenges under distance learning.

Undersecretary Diosdado San Antonio was quoted in a report by GMA News' "24 Oras" last month as saying the deparment was studying the move to give students more time to complete school requirements.

But, on Wednesday, the education official told reporters that DepEd is dropping the idea, "noting the objections from our stakeholders."

"It was among the many options we were considering," he said in a Viber exchange. "[But] we will no longer propose a two-week break between School Year 2020-2021 and 2021-2022."

Many took to social media to air their opposition to the proposal, with students and teachers already exhausted from adapting to a new setup of distance education.

"It is not true that teachers' workload was reduced," said Benjo Basas, national chairperson of the Teachers' Dignity Coalition, in Filipino. "In fact, it increased due to higher dependency on technology and because of clerical tasks. If the break would only be two weeks before the next school year, the work may not be finished in time."

The development came a day after DepEd announced a month-long extension to the present school year, now ending on July 10 from June 11.

Officials said this was due to an "identified need" to address learning gaps in meeting the competencies it has set for students.

Classes in the Philippines pushed through in October 2020, despite calls from groups to postpone as they warned that difficulties such as internet access and availability of gadgets could leave many behind. — Christian Deiparine

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION DISTANCE LEARNING
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