By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The Department of Education (DepEd) conducts a series of consultations among teachers and parents on the proposal to revert the opening of classes in June.
Under the proposal, DepEd seeks to revert class openings for School Year 2025-2026, instead of this year.
Ian Arnold Arnaiz, DepEd-NegOcc Schools Division public information officer, said one of the reasons for pushing the proposal is due to concerns over the high temperatures during summer.
Last year, several students suffered various heat-related illnesses, such as epistaxis and nosebleeds due to the high temperatures inside the classrooms.
The high temperatures caused a drop in performance among students, as they were unable to focus well on their studies.
A large majority of the parents and teachers proposed a return to a June class opening as weather conditions and temperatures are far more suitable.
Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said a careful consideration in changing the school opening should be made, as some were affected by the shift to an August class opening in the past few years.
Meanwhile, Alliance of Concerned Teachers chairperson Vladimer Quetua said they expressed concern that the 60-day vacation for teachers could be affected if the change in the school opening is implemented immediately.
Quetua pointed out that it is possible to utilize DepEd Order No. 23, series of 2003, where teachers who go on leave could be granted service credits ranging from 15 to 45 days.
Service credits are used by teachers to take leave from work without salary deduction.
The DepEd suggested minimizing the required funds for teachers’ service credits to reduce the number of class days from the minimum of 180 days per school year./DGB, WDJ