DepEd: Uphold rights of students, teachers when setting makeup classes

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Education (DepEd) reminded schools on Monday, September 24, to prioritize the welfare of students and teachers when scheduling makeup classes that would fall on Saturdays.

The DepEd was responding to calls to prohibit required makeup classes and meetings. The education department said that while these may be mandatory, students and teachers' rights must still be observed.

In particular, the DepEd highlighted the need to ensure that the right to freely exercise religion can still be upheld, as Saturdays may be considered a rest day or holy day for some.

If this is the case for students or teachers, the DepEd said they "should not be required to attend seminars, examinations, special classes, trainings, and other school activities on the said day."

It added that teachers and students who would be absent for religious reasons should not have their salaries or grades affected.

Why this matters: Recent calamities such as Typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut) have caused class suspensions in several regions.

The DepEd said about 15 million students were affected by the typhoon as of Thursday, September 20.

Still needed: While schools should ensure the rights of teachers and students are upheld, the education department also maintained makeup classes are necessary to ensure learning.

"During class suspensions, whether due to inclement weather or other legitimate reasons, the department has to guarantee the conduct of makeup classes to ensure the fulfillment of its core mandate – to promote and protect the right of learners to quality basic education," the DepEd said.

It also authorized "flexible" ways to make up for lost class days, such as allowing students to study at home, or other methods approved by school officials and parent-teacher associations. – Rappler.com

Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers foreign affairs, the overseas Filipino workers, and elections. She also writes stories on the treatment of women and children. Follow her on Twitter @sofiatomacruz. Email her at sofia.tomacruz@rappler.com.

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