Teachers to DepEd: We deserve vacation, too

Published March 3, 2021, 9:08 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

A teachers’ group on Wednesday, March 3, welcomed the dismissal of the Department of Education (DepEd) of its plan to reduce teachers’ vacation period.

The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) lauded DepEd’s decision that it will no longer pursue the plan to impose a “two-week vacation” prior to the opening of the next school year.

“Teachers, by tradition and by rules are entitled to a two-month school break and the DepEd cannot just disregard this, it’s a matter of right,” said TDC National Chairperson Benjo Basas.

DepEd Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction Diosdado San Antonio confirmed that the agency has already dropped its plan to propose a two-week break between the current and the upcoming school year.

“It was among the many options we were considering but noting the objections from our stakeholders, we will no longer propose a two-week break between SY 2020-2021 and 2021-2022,” San Antonio said.

Prior to DepEd’s announcement, TDC already pointed out that a school break of only two weeks between two academic years is “unacceptable” – especially that distance learning has been “physically, mentally and psychologically exhausting” both for teachers and learners.

DepEd on March 2 released the changes and the new schedule of activities under the current school year.

Aside from extending the school year until July 10 – among other changes – the said Order does not provide for the school break between the two school years.

“Since there are now changes in the schedule, the two-month break should be adjusted as well,” Basas said.

Meanwhile, TDC commended DepEd for its decision. “This is only a proof that DepEd can make sound policies if they will listen to their stakeholders, especially the teachers,” Basas said.

In a hearing of the Senate Education Committee also held Wednesday morning Basas reiterated that the DepEd should include the teacher – the front liners in education sector – in crafting its policies especially amid the pandemic.