The proposal of the Department of Education (DepEd) to extend by two weeks the current school year, scheduled to close on June 11, 2021, met strong opposition from a teachers’ federation.
The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Philippines rejected the move and instead urged DepEd to to “ease the study and workload” for both students and teachers.
“The difficulties of many students in keeping up with the lessons while both learners and teachers are burned out is a clear proof that the current curriculum and the overall learning design being implemented are not sufficiently attuned to their real situation under the health and economic crisis,” said ACT Secretary General Raymond Basilio.
He noted that is the concern that the DepEd needs to address “not pursuing its fixation with the most essential learning competencies (MELCs) it earlier set.”
Based on the consultations conducted by ACT, Basilio said teachers observed that the MELCs are still “too heavy to achieve” under the distance learning set up.
Basilio added that assessment and grading systems were also “not sufficiently adjusted” so even if the teachers reduce student activities and requirements, the study load remains “overwhelming for many students who struggle to self-learn” in their respective homes.
DepEd earlier said that it is considering the extension of the school year to give students ample time to complete their academic requirements.
However, ACT maintained that what DepEd needs to do is to “ease the study and work load of students and teachers and not prolong their hardships under the failing distance learning program.”