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Saturday, December 15, 2018

Christmas break for public school students, teachers begins

Christmas break for learners and teachers in public schools officially starts on Sunday, December 16.
While the Christmas vacation for students was officially declared to start on December 15, the Department of Education (DepEd), in Department Order No. 49 series of 2018, clarified that the date “shall remain to be a class day intended for school activities.”

The Christmas break for this school year was announced last month by Education Secretary Leonor Briones, a week earlier than the original schedule – December 22 (as stated in Paragraph 10 of DepEd Order No. 25 series of 2018 or the School Calendar for School Year 2018-2019).
In moving the Christmas break a week earlier, Briones emphasized the “importance for students to spend more time with their families this Christmas holiday.” In the DepEd Order, it emphasized that the department “values the importance of spending quality time with the family” and that “this Christmas season provides an opportunity for Filipino learners to strengthen their emotional bonds with their family.” Based on the amended school calendar, the resumption of classes will be on January 2, 2019 (Wednesday).
In a separate memorandum issued by Office of Undersecretary for Planning and Field Operations, DepEd clarified that teachers in elementary and secondary public schools may also begin their Christmas vacation for 2018 on December 16. “However, teachers may still be required to report and render services from December 16 to 22 in the exigency of public service,” DepEd said.
When it comes to the attendance of private school learners and teachers, DepEd noted “private schools have the discretion to develop and follow their own school calendar as long as the minimum number of class days is completed” and the provisions of Republic Act No. 7797, or the “Act to Lengthen the School Calendar From Two Hundred (200) Days to Not More Than Two Hundred and Twenty (220) Class Days,” are observed.
Briones also directed all regions, divisions, and schools to “review the Budget of Work (BOW) on the curriculum implementation to “ensure that the required competencies are covered.” DepEd also clarified that despite the longer and earlier Christmas break, the learning of the students will not be affected.
Earlier, DepEd Undersecretary and spokesperson NepomucenoMalaluan explained that before amendment of the school calendar for 2018-2019 was finalized, DepEd officials from the central and regional offices were consulted. “Before this order was issued, we had a consultation that included our regions,” he said. “The consensus is that the adjustment can be accommodated,” he added.
Malauan also noted that the deduction of school days due to earlier Christmas break will still be “compliant” with the required days based on the school calendar. “The main policy that is being amended also provided for the minimum number of [contact] days that should be fulfilled,” he said. “There are provisions for make-up classes if they will become necessary, and that would be in consultation with the parents as well,” he stressed.
Source: MB

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