The Department of Education (DepED) reminded schools and offices to ensure that Christmas parties will be held in a “simple yet meaningful” manner.
In DepED Order No. 52 series of 2022 signed by Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte dated Nov. 2, the department issued guidelines for the celebration of Christmas within the DepED.
DepED urged its community to “strive for a genuine celebration of hope, unity, and service for others” every Christmas season.
Given this, public schools as well as DepED Central and field offices were directed to ensure that celebrations related to Christmas should be “simple yet meaningful.”
This, DepED said, can be done by keeping in mind the “true spirit of the season” and the “austerity called for by the difficult economic times.”
In its latest issuance, DepED urged all concerned to ensure that all Christmas parties, themes, costumes, decorations, and exchange gifts remain voluntary.
“No learner or DepED personnel should be forced to contribute participate or use their money for the celebration,” the department said.
DepED also stressed that contributions for celebrations in schools or offices, whether in cash or kind, “should be strictly voluntary.”
Likewise, the department added that “no learner shall be excluded from joining the Christmas celebration by reason of their failure to give the voluntary contribution or absence of a prepared of a prepared gift.”
To help ensure that celebrations in schools and offices are “practicable,” DepEd said that “Christmas party themes should not result to expenses that will become a burden on parents, students and DepED personnel.”
Likewise, DepED enjoined schools and offices to use or recycle old Christmas decorations. The purchase of new decor was also discouraged. Furthermore, DepED said that no learner or personnel should be “required to make decors specifically for a party.”
Christmas parties in schools, DepED added, may also be organized within class hours “so long as it does not interfere with the scheduled lesson plans intended to be taught to the students.”
DepED offices, however, were reminded that the conduct of Christmas get-togethers and other similar year-end activities “should not compromise the provision of departmental services.”
When it comes to gift-giving, DepED said that this should be “guided by the spirit and of sharing and should not lead to extravagant spending.”
DepED personnel were also reminded that solicitations, whether in cash or in-kind, are not allowed for Christmas parties or holiday celebrations.
The provisions of this order, DepED said, cover all that schools and offices in the country.
Schools Division Offices (SDOs) were also allowed to issue additional guidelines based on their local customs and traditions, subject to the issued guidelines.
For private schools, community learning centers, as well as state or local universities and colleges, DepED said that they may “choose to adopt the provisions” of the newly-issued order as a basis in the conduct of their own Christmas parties or celebration.