In the Know: PH only country with June-March school year
The Philippines is the only member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) that follows a June-to-March academic calendar. Other Asean countries, including Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and, most recently, Thailand, are already following the September-to-May school calendar.
In the United States, the school calendar begins between August and September and ends in June.
In some European countries, the school year starts in the first week of September. In Nordic countries like Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway and Iceland, it generally starts between mid- to end-August. In Southern European countries like Greece, Portugal and Turkey, the school calendar starts during the second half of September.
Other Asian countries like Japan and South Korea have a different school calendar. The academic year in Japan starts in April and ends in March. South Korea’s academic year begins in March and ends in February.
Like in some European countries and in the United States, China’s school calendar also starts in September and ends in June.
In Australia, the school year begins in January and ends in December.
Executive Order No. 292, signed in July 1987 by then President Corazon Aquino, provides that the opening date of the school year for the elementary, secondary and tertiary levels for public and private schools “shall not be earlier than the first day of June nor later than the last day of July of each year unless prevented by fortuitous events.”
This academic calendar was adopted to coincide with the country’s two seasons—rainy (from June to November) and dry (from December to May).
Education Secretary Armin Luistro said last month that no decision has been made regarding the proposed shift in academic calendar for basic education.
He cited a Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) study showing that typhoons and heavy rains are not frequent occurrences during June and July.
Classes in April and May may also not be advisable due to the intense heat, Luistro said
Bills that would change the academic calendar have been filed by Rep. Lani Mercado-Revilla in the House of Representatives and by Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. and Sen. Jinggoy Estrada in the Senate.—Compiled by Marielle Medina and Kathleen T. de Villa, Inquirer Research
Sources: Inquirer Archives, Organisation of School Time in Europe by the European Commission, Seoul National University, Chuo University, Australia.gov.au, NYC Department of Education
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