It’s final: DepEd requires schools to remove everything on classroom walls   |

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Education has issued a direct order for schools to keep classroom walls bare and to “take out everything” on them, including traditional educational posters and other visual teaching aids.

In an interview with Radyo 630 on Monday, DepEd spokesperson Michael Poa said that Duterte’s directive is for “all walls to be bare” and “for classrooms to be clean, orderly and functional.” Waterproof Heavy-Duty Vinly Tarpaulin Cover

It’s final: DepEd requires schools to remove everything on classroom walls   |

This comes after a teacher’s group on Sunday urged DepEd to clarify what classroom decorations are “unnecessary” after its no-decor policy — communicated through DepEd Order No. 21, s. 2023 and a verbal statement from Vice President Sara Duterte — garnered mixed reactions online.

Duterte said, through a statement read by Poa, that “the order is what it is.”

“Take out everything on the wall. Let learners focus on their studies. Classrooms and schools should be clean and functional,” Duterte said.

DepEd Order No. 21, which provides the guidelines for this year’s Brigada Eskwela, required schools to clear school grounds, classrooms and all its walls of “unnecessary artwork, decorations, tarpaulin and posters." A copy of the order was uploaded on DepEd’s website on August 3.

Duterte later said in an interview with the media on August 16 that schools must remove “everything” adorning classroom walls.

The Education chief was also seen removing posters and educational materials in a classroom during her visit to a Brigada Eskwela activity in Bansalan, Davao del Sur on August 17. 

“When the vice president was going around schools, we saw that there were several classrooms with too many decorations on walls, and materials pile up in these rooms,” Poa said.

“We want this year to remove everything from the walls because most (sic) often than not, the decorations used last year are still there. What happens is that it distracts the learners,” Poa added.

Duterte also addressed whether classrooms should also be free of photos of current and former presidents and national heroes. 

“I know that President Marcos and all other former presidents, Jose Rizal, and all heroes past and present, will not at all be bothered if learners focus on their teachers, lessons, projects and assignments,” Duterte said in the statement read by Poa.

Classrooms in public schools are typically decorated with visual aid materials like posters and charts that reiterate what students learn from their lessons. 

Teachers typically spend weeks before the opening of classes sprucing up classrooms with various learning materials — most expenses of which come from their own pockets.

Before Duterte issued the clarification, the Teachers Dignity Coalition (TDC), an organization of public school teachers, said over the weekend that there is enough evidence showing educational posters contribute to learning.

While TDC initially said that said school heads and teachers should not interpret the order "literally,” DepEd has specifically ordered for classrooms to be stripped bare of any decorations.

Poa said that teachers can still use visual aids and bring these during their lessons.

“If teachers have lessons that require visual aid, they can do that during the time of their lessons. But as you know, student’s don’t just study one subject. So we want classrooms to always be clean and ready for the next class,” Poa said.   

It’s final: DepEd requires schools to remove everything on classroom walls   |

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