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DepEd eyes Saturday classes

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Education (DepEd) is looking at holding classes for several Saturdays to make up for the reduction in the number of school days when the old school calendar is restored this coming school year (SY).

Speaking during yesterday’s hearing of the House of Representatives committee on basic education and culture, DepEd director for curriculum and instruction-Bureau of Learning Delivery Leila Areola said the agency is planning to start SY 2024-2025 on July 29 and end it by March 31 next year.

Meanwhile, SY 2025-2026 shall start by June next year.

Because of this, Areola noted that the minimum number of school days would be reduced from the current 180 to around 163.

“We still need to be consulting our teachers and our learners, because the aggressive shift will be reducing the school year to something like 163,” she said.

To make up for the reduction in school days, the DepEd is studying the possibility of holding classes on certain Saturdays.

“It’s not going to be every Saturday. There will just be certain Saturdays that we need to conduct, for example, distance learning, so that they will be able to cover the competencies that might not be covered with the reduction of the school year,” Areola said.

Upon questioning by committee chair and Pasig City Rep. Roman Romulo, however, Areola said there is no law or policy that requires the minimum 180 days.

Romulo maintained that while there is a law that sets the maximum number of school days at 220, he could not find a law or any policy requiring the minimum days to be 180.

Areola said there is no law governing this requirement, but it has been practiced since 1990.

“The average number of days is 203, and I have to mention that when the curriculum was prepared, they calculated actually 180 as much as possible to be the minimum number of school days,” she added.

Bukidnon 4th District Rep. Laarni Lavin Roque proposed to the DepEd to do away with the 180 days as the minimum number of school days since there is no law governing it.

At the same hearing, Philippine Elementary School Principals Association president Ferdinand Millan said they “interpose no objection” to the changes in the