Saturday, December 16, 2017

Correct Me If I am Wrong: No More Paskuhan sa Paaralan in ARMM

Way back 90's when I was just a classroom teacher under the administration of Siladjan J. Jamiri, the Principal of Panglima Indanan Central School, I would always prepare my Grade VI - B pupils for the celebration Christmas, the so-called Christmas Party before the end of school days in the month of December. Later, the principal advised us all teachers of PICS not to anymore celebrate Christmas in the school. Christmas party was no longer required by DECS among students and teachers before they would depart for 15-day vacation.

I could hardly forget the advice of Sir Siladjan J. Jamiri saying, "It is now prohibited in the sense that ARMM is thickly populated by Moslems whose belief for Christmas is antagonistic activity to the teaching of Quran and Hadith of Prophet Mohammad (Sallallaho Alayhi Wasallam)." This prohibition emerged when MNLF Chairman, Prof. Nur P. Misuari rose to power in ARMM as Regional Governor.

Another thing that I remember was the school uniform of the female teachers. Long pants with long sleeves were mandatorily required banning the western skirts designed for female teachers. 

Wearing of hijab (turung) was required for every lady teacher. It was also encouraged to be patterned by female pupils in elementary schools and students in secondary schools. Thus, we can see all candidates for graduation in elementary level gracing their graduation ceremony with turung (hijab) in their heads.

Another remarkable directive in DECS those days was the prescription of Islamic greetings, Assalamu alyakum and Wa alaykumus salam instead of saying good afternoon or good morning to teachers by the pupils/students or vice versa.

As an instructional leader in this connection, I often try to advise some school heads and teachers especially those who are my brother/sister-like about the above citations. I also ask them if the above directives are still enjoined or amended.

Most of the replies were 'year-end party'. I am used to hear the words, 'year-end reports' in DepED. Year-end reports refer to documents that need submission by March or April of the year. So, I used to respond them that we are observing school year end.

Okay, let's talk in a positive way that year always ends in December. Is there official guideline from DepED enjoining every classroom teacher to hold party with their learners before enjoying the 15-day vacation? I think the answer is 'IT DEPENDS'. Let us say that one hundred percent of the students go back to school by January if they departed for one another in the joyous party.

If I were to suggest, it's better to have year-end party before the pupils/students depart for summer vacation. I guess it's more beneficial for the learners especially those who are to graduate in March or April. Graduation marks separation of every Grade 6 pupil from one another. It is their last moments in their almamater. Instead of going here and there offering gifts to their friends and relatives who are to graduate before them, year-end party, perhaps may be possible three days before the date of graduation or it depends on the availability both teachers and students.

For Kindergarten to Grade 5 students certainly, year-end party may possibly be done on the last day of classes stipulated in the school calendar to ensure observance of prescribed number of school days exclusively for teaching-learning activities inside the classrooms.

What is the use DepED agency if every one of us has the right to create and implement our own instead of complying those suggested activities, thrusts and guidelines prescribed by DepED?

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