DepEd’s gradual shift to old school calendar gets support

By: Niña Mae C. Oliverio - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | February 28,2024 - 12:48 PM

DepEd old school calendar and Teachers Cebu: FILE PHOTO: More ceiling fans were installed in a classroom at the Ibabao-Estancia Elementary school to ease the summer heat. | CDND photo / Mary Rose Sagarino

FILE PHOTO: More ceiling fans were installed in a classroom at the Ibabao-Estancia Elementary school to ease the summer heat. | CDND photo / Mary Rose Sagarino

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Department of Education (DepEd) recently announced the gradual shift to the old school calendar.

The current school year, 2023-2024, will end on May 31, 2024.

Meanwhile, the start of the school year 2024-2025 will be July 29, 2024 and will end on May 16, 2025, according to Department Order No. 003 S. of 2024.

Dr. Salustiano Jimenez, regional director of Deped-7, said in a news forum on Tuesday that the gradual return to the old school calendar would be done after their series of consultations that involved stakeholders such as teachers, parents, and children.

READ: Netizens welcome shift to old school calendar

Classrooms, buildings not designed for summer

The regional director said they laid out reasons for changing to the old school calendar.

Among the reasons that Jimenez shared was the school buildings in public schools. He said school buildings and classrooms in the Philippines “are not designed for summer.”

“Kung ting-init, maabot nang heat index og 34 [degrees celsius], ang mga bata mangreklamo na [ug ang mga] ginikanan,” Jimenez said.

(If it is the hot season, the heat index will rise to 34 [degrees celsius], the children will already complain [and also] the parents.)

That was why they had to transition it gradually and not immediately because they also had to consider the number of school days.

He said DepEd would need to reach not less than 180 and not more than 220 days in accordance with Republic Act 11480 “an Act to Lengthen the School Calendar from Two Hundred (200) Days to Not More Than Two Hundred Twenty (220) Class Days.”

READ: Palarong Pambansa 2024 schedule finally revealed

Events in July 2024

Moreover, Jimenez said that starting the school year in July would also be in time for the Palarong Pambansa in which the DepEd Central Visayas and Cebu City Government would host.

Besides the sports event, the National Schools Press Conference will also be held in Cebu in July, according to the regional director.

Meanwhile, for private schools, Jimenez said they still would have the discretion whether to follow or not the guidelines of DepEd, as long as they would follow the guideline that school opening should be within the first Monday of June to the last day of August.

“As long as mafall ani nga period, June to August, okay ra sa ilaha (private schools),” he added.

(As long as it would fall in this period, June to August, that is okay with them (private schools))

Teachers back Deped’s reason

Upon learning of DepEd’s plan, Shiela Lato Tabla, an elementary teacher in public school for more than 15 years, told CDN Digital that she approved bringing back the old school calendar.

“Kay sa ako na observe after pandemic nga S.Y from year 2020-2021 to S.Y 2022-2023 mo end siya ug July which is na sud ang summer months,” Tabla said.

(Because what I observed after the pandemic the SY from 2020-2021 to SY 2022-2023, this will end in July, which is it is within the summer months already.)

She said that even this month of February, both her fellow teachers and their students suffer from the heat even inside their classrooms.

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

Hot weather and classes

She said it was difficult to conduct lectures and teach the students if the weather would be too hot.

“So, karon na approved na hinay hinay na nga mabalik ang old school calendar. Dili na magsuffer sa kainit nga panahon ang teachers ug students,” Tabla added.

(So now this has been approved, so we will slowly go back to the old school calendar. The teachers and the students would not have to suffer from the heat.)

Roda Laurito Sotomayor, another public school teacher in junior high school in Danao City, told CDN Digital that she was also in favor of the gradual shift because the classrooms would become too hot during summer.

“Grabe nga kainit sud sa classrooms. Dako jud kini og epekto sa performance sa mga bata kay dili na sila ka focus sa klase,” Sotomayor said.

(The classrooms is really hot. It really has a big effect on the performance of the children because they could not focus on the class.)

Longer vacations for students

Meanwhile, Francis Lionel Lacea, a public school teacher in Lapu-Lapu City for nine years already, also supports DepEd’s plans.

He said it would be nice to return to the old school calendar because it could give longer vacations to the students, and it would also allow teachers to prepare for the school activities.

Moreover, he also noted that during the month of April, they would experience hot weather which would not be convenient for the students.

“Ang month of April and May grabe pod ang kainit. Luoy ang mga bata, samot pa nga ang mga classrooms dili well ventilated,” Lacea said.

(The month of April and May, the heat is really bad. I pity the childre, especially if the classrooms are not well ventilated.)

A parent’s take

Meanwhile, ‘Chael’, whose son is already in elementary school, said it would be better to gradually shift to the old school calendar “so that the kids can enjoy summer and have time to relax and unwind with families and friends.”

Chael added that April and May also would be the hottest months.

“Maong students are having a hard time in the classroom, especially sa mga public schools that don’t have air conditioned classrooms,” she added.

(That is why the students are having a hard time in the classroom, especially to those public schools that don’t have air conditioned classrooms.)

In the Philippines, March to May are the months that the country can experience hot and dry seasons, according to Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa).

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TAGS: DepEd, old school calendar

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