DepEd to ‘strengthen’ implementation of Catch-Up Fridays

The Department of Education (DepEd) on Thursday, May 23, said that efforts are underway to “strengthen and improve” the implementation of its Catch-Up Fridays program.

Students during "Catch-Up Fridays" (DepEd file photo)

“We actually have to also recognize na meron mga ganyan na sitwasyon dahil hindi graded yung ating Catch-Up Fridays (that there are such situations because our Catch-Up Fridays are not graded),” said DepEd Undersecretary and Spokesperson Michael Poa in a DZBB interview.

Launched in January, Catch-Up Fridays is a “learning mechanism” intended to strengthen foundational, social, and other relevant skills necessary to realize the objectives of the basic education curriculum.


Poa said that the program is aligned with the MATATAG Agenda which was also launched in January to set the new direction for the DepEd and stakeholders in resolving basic education challenges.


To address challenges in education quality, DepEd launched in August 2023, the revised curriculum for Kindergarten to Grade 10 dubbed as the “MATATAG Curriculum.”

Poa explained that the MATATAG Curriculum focuses on basic competencies such as reading and comprehension, among others.

In the MATATAG curriculum, Poa noted that the learning competencies have been “decongested” to focus on the most essential areas.

“Binawasan talaga natin yung napakaraming learning competencies --- from around 11,000 to 3,800 for K to 10 (We really reduced the numerous learning competencies --- from around 11,000 to 3,800 for K to 10),” Poa said. “Ibig sabihin nun, mag-focus na tayo sa talagang essential foundational areas (This means we will focus on the truly essential foundational areas),” he added.

The Catch-Up Fridays, Poa said, is part of DepEd’s learning recovery efforts. 

“Ito ay every Friday na tututok lang sa pagbabasa sa ating mga kabataan kasama na din yung health, values education, peace education (This is every Friday, focusing on reading for our youth, including health, values education, and peace education),” Poa said.

Improving Catch-Up Fridays implementation

Poa said since the implementation of the program early this year, DepEd has been receiving comments on the implementation of Catch-Up Fridays.

“Sa ngayon na gusto pa namin paigtingin due to the comments na nakukuha natin from the field (For now, we want to intensify [this effort] further due to the comments we are receiving from the field),” Poa said.

DepEd, Poa said, asked for comments from the public and field offices on the implementation of Catch-Up Fridays and is currently compiling the feedback.

Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte, Poa said, also wanted “to really improve the implementation of Catch-Up Fridays.”

Based on the comments it gathered, Poa shared that the program is very helpful for children when it comes to improving their reading skills. “Meron tayong mga testimonials ng mga bata na natutong magbasa (We have testimonials from children who have learned to read),” he said.

To make the implementation “uniform,” Poa said that DepEd’s Curriculum Strand is working on the reported issues and concerns. “When we implement it in the next school year, 2024-2025, gusto na natin maayos yung mga ganyang hinaing (we want to address those complaints,” he said.

As part of its efforts to address the concerns related to Catch-Up Fridays, Poa said DepEd has started giving out resources to schools such as reading materials that the students can use.

“May mga complaints din na may kakulangan pagdating sa materials (There are complaints on the lack of [reading] materials,” Poa said.

Poa said that the Curriculum Strand will also come out with Lesson Exemplars or Lesson Guides for teachers to help them plan their lessons and to “standardize” the program.

“Ito yung mga unang hakbang pero hindi tayo titigil diyan, in fact hanggan ngayon, talagang pinapa-igting pa, naghahanap pa ng ibang ways para ma-strengthen yung Catch-Up Fridays (These are the first steps, but we will not stop there. In fact, until now, we are intensifying efforts and looking for other ways to strengthen Catch-Up Fridays,” he added.

Teachers have been urging DepEd to suspend Catch-Up Fridays noting that the program is not a “necessity” and that it disrupts the regular teaching-learning process.