Back to old school calendar? 

Teachers’ groups cite agreement with DepEd

By: Dempsey Reyes - Philippine Daily Inquirer | January 19,2024 - 10:53 AM

The Department of Education (DepEd) has reportedly agreed to revert to the old school calendar, in which classes open in June, two teachers’ groups said on Thursday, January 18, 2024,  after a meeting with education officials.

The DepEd itself has not confirmed the change but the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) and Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) said that this was among the outcomes of the meeting held on Jan. 16.

According to them, the DepEd committed to revert to the June opening of classes after the end of school year (SY) 2023 to 2024 and the start of SY 2024 to 2025 are officially adjusted.

READ MORE: CHED: No more Senior High School program in SUCs, LUCs

TDC Chair Benjo Basas said the DepEd had taken a few things into consideration, including the fact that most public school classrooms were not capable of handling the heat in April and May, the height of the dry season.

Another factor was the annual festivities during these two months, as well as religious occasions such as Holy Week, which would fall on March 24 to 30 this year.

The end of SY 2023 to 2024 was originally set on June 14 but the DepEd and stakeholders reached a “consensus” to end it earlier, according to Basas.

Transition period

“We are actually happy with the discussions we had with DepEd and what they are doing is acting toward reverting to our old school calendar,” he told the Inquirer in a phone interview.“As we agreed [upon during the meeting], we may soon return to our old school cycle. It may not be during the first week of June but probably during the mid-week … ,” he added.

The current school year and the upcoming one would be the “transition” to return to the old school calendar, Basas explained, adding that this would give teachers and students enough time to prepare.

READ: Revert to old school calendar, gov’t urged

DepEd spokesperson Michael Poa, for his part, said the return to the old school calendar was still being studied as he also declined to provide details about the consultative meeting, which he presided over on Tuesday.

“That is why we will wait for the final guidelines,” Poa told the Inquirer in a separate text message.

ACT Chair Vladimer Quetua, on the other hand, confirmed Basas’ statement, saying the DepEd had “made it clear” that the end of the current school year would be on May 31 while SY 2024 to 2025 would begin on July 29.

“The DepEd assured us that the teachers will have enough rest. In fact, they committed that the teachers will have a 30-day rest before the beginning of the upcoming school year,” Quetua said.

Also part of the discussion during the meeting was the possibility of increasing teachers’ “service credit” from 15 days to up to 45 days, he added.

Both Basas and Quetua said they were scheduled to have another meeting with DepEd to fine-tune the details of the memorandum to be issued regarding the return to the old school calendar. “We will have a discussion again and the DepEd told us that before the issuance of the final memorandum, they [would] consult all of us first, probably to work on the minor details of the memorandum,” Quetua said.

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TAGS: DepEd, education

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