By Deighton Acuin and Archie Villaflores

PHOTO: Philippine Star

The Department of Education (DepEd) is under fire anew over plans of extending the current academic calendar and shortening the summer break into two weeks.

Netizens were quick on social media sites to voice out their concerns on the DepEd’s plans to extend the 2020-2021 academic year. Extending the school year would mean adjustments in the calendar, shortening the “summer” break In April and May.

Here are some of the reactions from the netizens:

“DepEd right now thinking that we can finish all of our activities/requirements and chores while being emotionally unstable.”

“DepEd just really proved that they’re anti-poor, ableist [sic], and ignorant with this 2 week summer vacation.”

“DEPED has no consideration.”

“idk [I don’t know] what made DepEd believe that students and teachers have the mental capability to do school literally all year long during a GLOBAL CRISIS that NONE of us know how to handle, but they better reconsider.”

While the agency is considering the call of academic ease from the learners, Education Secretary Leonor Briones pointed out that they already had a six-month break due to coronavirus pandemic and suspension of classes.

“Pinagusapan namin yan kahapon dahil ang demand ng mga bata ay yung sinasabi nilang academic ease. Ito, related ito sa mga requirements sa klase, sa mga homework, etc. Kaya ang tanong ko sa mga opisyal ko, if we extend the vacation, will it make their assignments easier?” Briones said in an online Palace briefing.

“So we are very careful in calibrating itong bakasyon kasi nakabakasyon na sila ng anim na buwan, magdagdag nanaman tayo ng bakasyon,” she added.

“So we have a lot of catching up to do. Remember, other countries opened in June. We opened in October. So pag sabihin mong iextend mo yung vacation, we have to balance also the impact of another series of no classes and so on when the children are asking for academic ease,” Briones said.

In a 24 Oras report, DepEd Undersecretary Diosdado San Antonio said that education officials “are still discussing” the proposal related to the academic calendar adjustments.

He also said that the agency is eyeing to shorten the two-month summer break into two weeks.

Earlier, DepEd deferred the classes from August 24, 2020 to October 5, 2020 for the readiness of the teachers and the learners under distance learning modalities.