By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
Public and private school teachers from various groups are opposing the holding of make-up classes on weekends in lieu of “lost school days” due to suspension of classes in line with Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and Related Meetings, among other disturbances.
“Teachers have nothing to do with these suspensions, these could actually be considered as distortion to our class program,” said Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) National Chairperson Benjo Basas.
“Thus, teachers as well as students should not be compelled to report every Saturday,” he added.
Students in Metro Manila schools had a week-long vacation after classes were suspended from November 12 to 16 due to the ASEAN Summit.
Classes in Bulacan and Pampanga were also suspended for three days also due to Summit-related activities.
TDC asked Education Secretary Leonor Briones to clarify the matter after the group received reports “that some schools division officials are compelling the teachers to report on Saturdays.”
The Federation of Public School Teachers Association of Makati (FEPSTAM), for instance, recently questioned the memorandum released by the Division Office ordering five Saturdays of make-up classes.
“Make-up classes, especially during Saturdays are not necessary at this point in time,” Basas said. “It is simply unfair,” he added.
Basas also noted that Saturdays are normally used for post graduate studies where classes are usually taken up once a week “while some are barred to work because of their religious belief or use the weekends for family bonding.”
“It is quite ironic that our teachers are always compelled to work beyond their official time, some even dedicate their weekend for their students and school, yet the DepEd does not set aside overtime pay for them and would deduct their every single minute of under time from their meager salaries,” Basas lamented.