DepEd OKs gradual return to old school calendar

DepEd OKs gradual return to old school calendar

/ 05:40 AM February 21, 2024

DepEd voucher grade 11 old school break calendar


The Department of Education (DepEd) has made adjustments to return to the old school calendar, wherein vacations take place during the summer months, following mounting complaints from teachers, learners and parents about the extreme heat that students had to endure in public school classrooms especially during their classes from March to May—the peak of the dry season in the country.

However, DepEd said the reversion would be gradually implemented so as not to compromise the students’ learning competencies.


Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte issued Department Order (DO) No. 3 series of 2024 setting the new dates of school activities from February until the end of next school year.


In her order dated Feb. 19, Duterte said DepEd took the health, safety and well-being of teachers and students alike as its “highest priority” in line with her so-called Matatag Agenda.

The order, which shall take effect immediately “upon its approval and posting on the DepEd website,” was already up on the agency’s website as of Tuesday, with officials confirming to reporters that it has also been issued to all schools.

The order sets the end of School Year (SY) 2023-2024 on May 31, 2024, the beginning of SY 2024-2025 on July 29, 2024, and the last school day on May 16, 2025.

Optional for private schools

DepEd spokesperson and Undersecretary Michael Poa told reporters that the gradual adjustments under DO 3 reduced the number of school days by only seven to eight days.

“The number of school days lessened for this school year was not that many, if I’m not mistaken, only around seven to eight days,” Poa said. “We cannot just [reduce] the school days because we cannot risk the students to be delayed in their learning competencies and that is why our shift [to the old school calendar] will be gradual.”

He said the phased shift or adjustments in the current and upcoming school years would lead up to the return to the old school calendar by SY 2027-2028.


According to Poa, the end of SY 2026-2027 was estimated to be in the first week of April and the possibility of going back to March as the end of a school year would be during SY 2027-2028.

“So, we are on our way there with this gradual shift. As you know, every year, we always look at the adjustments that we can make with the school calendar but based on our projection, we will end SY 2026-2027 during the first few days of April, so we really are on our way there,” he explained.

As for private schools, Poa said they have the option to match their school calendar schedule with that of public schools.

Classroom discomfort

Two of the organizations that were part of the consultations last Jan. 16 at the DepEd Central Office, the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) and the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC), raised the concern about the hot weather, pointing out that it has been affecting their classes as students, teachers and even school staff members get sick due to the extreme heat.

ACT chair Vladimer Quetua said some of their students even asked teachers if they could wear plain T-shirts or even sleeveless shirts just to keep up with the heat inside the classrooms.

“They would even ask us if they can go to the canteen just to buy a bottle of water and of course, we allow them to buy water for themselves. We also allow them to wear shirts they are comfortable with,” Quetua said.

During the consultations, the TDC said the holding of religious festivities during the months of April and May such as the Holy Week and festivals in different localities was also raised.

Vacations unchanged

During the gradual shift to the old school calendar, Poa noted that vacation days for students and teachers would not be lessened.

READ: DepEd: Gradual return to old school calendar starting SY 2024-2025

In fact, he said the order stated that teachers should not be compelled to do mandatory or even voluntary activities during their 30-day break from June 1 to 30.

After this, teachers could then volunteer in activities scheduled in July such as the Palarong Pambansa and the National Learning Camps.

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“The teachers have to rest during these days, we made that clear in the order. We also instructed our undersecretary for operations to issue a memorandum to the field to ensure that teachers won’t be given mandatory or voluntary tasks during their 30-day break,” Poa said, adding that any complaints should be reported directly to the Office of the Secretary. INQ

TAGS: calendar, DepEd, School

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