PASIG CITY, September 24, 2018 – Amid calls to prohibit classes and required meetings on Saturdays, the Department of Education (DepEd) emphasizes the need to balance between its mandate to deliver quality basic education and safeguarding the welfare of both learners and personnel.
As prescribed by Republic Act No. 7797, DepEd sets a school calendar with a minimum of 200 and a maximum of 220 class days every year. During class suspensions, whether due to inclement weather or other legitimate reasons, the Department has to guarantee the conduct of make-up classes to ensure the fulfillment of its core mandate – to promote and protect the right of learners to quality basic education.
In this regard, DepEd acknowledges the need to balance between achieving its directive and ensuring the welfare of both learners and personnel. To do so, the Education department authorizes flexibility in the mode of making up for cancelled classes, wherein schools can use modularized instruction such as allowing students to study at home. Other mechanisms for the conduct of make-up classes are also permitted, given that these are approved by the school heads and the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA).
To ensure that the right of personnel and learners to free exercise of religion are respected and observed, DepEd issued Department Order (DO) No. 105, s. 2010, which stipulated that DepEd personnel and students belonging to any religious group, where Saturday is considered the day of rest or church day, should not be required to attend seminars, examinations, special classes, trainings, and other school activities on the said day.
In addition, teachers who incur absences on Saturday due to the exercise of their right to religious worship should have no diminution or deduction in the salaries, and students who exercise the same should suffer no effect on their grades.