The opening of S.Y 2022-2023 and the possible return of a full-blown face-to-face setup of classes this November (if cases of Covid can be controlled or contained) also came the announcement that the DepEd will restrict the conduct of any extracurricular activities this school year. This is pursuant to the objectives of “Sulong Edukalidad” which states that schools shall devote ten (10) weeks to actual classroom teaching.

               Naturally, this was met by smiles and frowns by School Heads and personnel. Due to “learning poverty” brought about by Covid and previous shortcomings from (arguably) the Department and Congress, there is truly a need to focus on academics for this school year. “Magayon an ta nganing mabawi ta su mga aldaw na dai kita nakatutulo sainda.” says a teacher from San Andres. “Tama man ta nganing minimal sana ang contact ninda, ta may Covid pa baga kita?” says another from Caramoran who is currently a coach in one of the six sporting events. “This is also a good way of making sure all the MELCs (Most Essential Learning Competencies) are met.” claims a school head of an elementary school from San Andres.

               But, according to some teachers, doing this will deprive our students of exposing their non-academic skills and talents. Extracurricular activities are also a good avenue for the learner to interact and develop their socialization skills. Furthermore, it serves as a “break” from all the stress of academics. There is saying after all “all work and no play will make you sad and grey.”

               During the writing of this article, a petition has already been sent by concerned teachers to Vice President Sara Duterte begging her to reconsider what is written in the DepEd order.

               This publication believes that the order was sent with good intentions to ensure the safety of teachers and students alike, however at the end of the day these are children, who need to unwind once in a while. There must be a balance to the satisfy the goals of all the parties involved. (via Jake Terrago)

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