The Department of Education (DepEd) has instructed schools to keep Christmas parties simple and stressed that mandatory contributions were prohibited.

DepEd Order No. 52 signed by Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte-Carpio stated that all Christmas parties, including exchange gifts, should be voluntary.

“No learner or DepEd personnel should be forced to contribute, participate, or use their money for the celebration,” it read.

“Gift-giving should be guided by the spirit of sharing and should not lead to extravagant spending,” it added.

The DepEd said celebrations in schools should be “simple and meaningful” and discouraged extravagant Christmas party themes.

“Celebrations in public schools and DepEd central and field offices should be simple yet meaningful, keeping in mind the true spirit of the season and the austerity called for by the difficult economic times,” it said.

The school calendar will include a two-week Christmas break from Dec. 19 to Jan. 3, 2023. Classes will resume after the holidays on Jan. 4. John Ezekiel J. Hirro