DepEd to keep grade, high school opening in June
MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Education (DepEd) does not see the need to revise the June to April school calendar for preschool, elementary and high school, even if some of the country’s top universities are reportedly planning to align their calendars to the prevailing schedules in the Asean region.
The University of the Philippines, Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle University and the University of Santo Tomas are reportedly planning to start their classes in August or September, instead of June, and end it in June or July, instead of April, in line with the economic integration of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) in 2015.
Asean 2015 is expected to promote mobility in the labor force, students and faculty among the 10 Asean member-nations, including the Philippines.
No final decision
The Philippines is the only country in the region that follows a June to April academic calendar.
Education Secretary Armin Luistro said intercountry student and faculty mobility was not as felt in basic education as it was in higher education.
“We have no decision yet (on changing the school calendar) with regard to Asean 2015. But the school calendar for basic education (among Asean member-nations) also varies,” Luistro said.
In the meantime, he said, the DepEd was sticking to the June to April school calendar since they had already studied the suggestion to move the start of classes to September to avoid frequent class suspensions due to inclement weather at the onset of the rainy season in June and July.
Luistro said a study done with the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration showed that typhoons were not always expected in June and July, and heavy rains were not widespread.
“Besides, if we are still holding classes during the summer months, the children might not be able to study due to the intense heat,” he said.
The Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) has yet to give its imprimatur to the reported plan of some universities to shift their academic calendar.
These top universities enjoy “autonomous” status, which gives them leeway in determining their academic programs, including their academic calendar.
Other colleges and universities have to follow CHEd’s prescribed academic calendar.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.