DepEd: No 3-day school week this school year
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Education (DepEd) announced on Friday, May 30, no schools in Metro Manila will implement the proposed 3-day school week for school year 2014-2015.
"The three-day school week won’t push through because we haven’t finished assessment [and] study on this proposal,” DepEd Assistant Secretary Jesus Mateo said in a press conference.
Earlier on Tuesday, May 27, DepEd-NCR Director Luz Almeda said congested schools in Caloocan City are considering a 3-day school week as a last resort to relieve congestion issues.
But Rappler obtained a copy from the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) a memorandum dated May 13 and signed by Caloocan schools division superintendent Rita Riddle showing the division’s plan to implement the proposal for the incoming school year “in public elementary and secondary schools in Caloocan.”
“In its desire to promote quality education in all public schools, and provide a conducive learning environment, the Division of City Schools Caloocan will implement the Three (3) Days School Week this School Year 2014-2015 in public elementary and secondary schools in Caloocan,” the memorandum read.
The “innovation," the memorandum said, aims to answer the problem of congestion in public schools and to diffuse pedestrian traffic while drastically reducing road traffic congestion. The memorandum also prescribes a 1:45 or 1:50 classroom-student ratio.
But on Friday, Almeda released a memorandum to schools division superintendents and public school heads that stops the implementation of the 3-day school week.
“Upon the instruction from DepEd Central Office, the implementation of the 3-day a week schedule of classes starting June 2, 2014 is temporarily discontinued pending the results of further studies regarding the matter,” Almeda said in the memorandum provided by ACT.
"We did not change our mind with the 3-day school week. We said it’s just a proposal,” Mateo said on Friday.
For now, Caloocan City is studying a school bus transfer system that will be implemented in Valenzuela City.
About 140 students from Malinta Elementary School-Pinalagad Annex will be transferred via school bus to Caruhatan West Elementary School.
Vans will be provided by the DepEd division office, while funds from the local school board will shoulder the gas expenses.
'No classroom shortage'
In a statement Thursday, May 29, ACT said the 3-day class week and the practice of dividing classrooms into two are “schemes to hide the shortage” in public education.
"These schemes will not solve the problem at all. What they need to do is simple and basic – add permanent items for teachers, construct additional classrooms and facilities and quit from making cheap gimmickry and rhetoric,” ACT national vice chair Joselyn Martinez said.
But Assistant Secretary Tonisito Umali stressed the department has addressed classroom shortage in the country. (READ: Aquino: No more classroom backlog)
The challenge, he said, is to handle the influx of students who did not register prior to school opening. (READ: High-rise schools to solve NCR classroom shortage)
Almeda earlier said congested schools should optimize as much available space as they can and accommodate walk-in enrollees in a holding area.
About 20 public schools in Metro Manila remain congested, with majority or 86% set to implement double shifting. Almost 14% will have single-shift classes.
Only the Grade 4 level of Tangos Elementary School in Navotas will have triple shifting due to ongoing construction of classrooms. – Rappler.com