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Return to Traditional School Calendar Set for Next Year

The Department of Education (DepEd) has affirmed its support for President Marcos’ decision to reinstate the old school calendar starting next year, as confirmed by an official from the agency.

DepEd Assistant Secretary Francis Bringas stated yesterday to reporters, “We have communicated our commitment to abide by the President’s decision on reverting to the June-to-March school year (SY) in our letter to the Office of the President.”

The shift aims to prevent class cancellations due to excessive heat, a concern voiced by the President, who advocates for a return to the traditional school calendar of June to March at the earliest opportunity.

Referencing their proposal sent to Marcos recently, Bringas explained that ending SY 2024-2025 in March 2025 and commencing the subsequent school year in June of the same year are part of their plan.

Specific details of this transition remain undisclosed as Marcos evaluates the options presented by DepEd.

Under the proposed change crafted by DepEd’s Bureau of Learning Delivery, schools would operate for 165 days of in-person classes, falling short of the legal mandate of 180 to 220 days.

To mitigate learning gaps, DepEd may introduce alternative delivery mode classes on weekends.

Moreover, students might experience a shorter end-of-school break as the academic year would conclude by March 31, 2025, with the next one commencing in June of the same year.

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) welcomed Marcos’ decision but urged for broader action addressing education sector deficiencies and climate challenges.

ACT chairman Vladimer Quetua emphasized, “Improving the learning environment should extend beyond changing the school calendar, including hiring more teachers, building classrooms, and addressing climate issues.”

Public demand for a return to the old school calendar has grown, citing student discomfort during hot months. Lawmakers have also supported this move, deeming the current August-to-June calendar unsuitable.

DepEd had earlier adjusted the current school year’s end to May 31, 2024, with SY 2024-2025 scheduled from July 29, 2024, to May 16, 2025, through Department Order No. 3, series 2024.

Pending Marcos’ approval, DepEd may skip the phased transition, reverting fully by SY 2026-2027.

Marcos has tasked Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte with formulating a concrete plan for the transition, signaling a potential return to the old calendar by next year to address heat-related class disruptions and restore educational continuity.

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