education in the Philippines

Marcos OKs Philippines’ gradual return to old academic calendar

Dwight de Leon

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Marcos OKs Philippines’ gradual return to old academic calendar

Students and teachers go about regular classes at the General Roxas Elementary School in Quezon City, on February 21, 2024.

Jire Carreon/Rappler

The upcoming school year will end in April 2025, a month earlier than scheduled, enabling the government to bring back the old June to March academic calendar

MANILA, Philippines – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has approved the Philippines’ gradual return to the old academic calendar, under which the school year begins in June and ends in March the following year.

The move comes as excessive heat inside classrooms during “summer” season resulted in cancellation of face-to-face classes from April to May.

Originally, the Department of Education (DepEd) announced in February a gradual transition to the old academic calendar, laying out a five-year transition timeline.

A press release from the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) on Wednesday, May 22, said that the upcoming school year (SY) 2024 to 2025, which is slated to begin on July 29, will end on April 15, 2025, a month earlier than scheduled.

Vice President and DepEd Secretary Sara Duterte previously presented Marcos with two options on how to go about with the move to revert to the old school calendar, but both scenarios set the ending of SY 2024 to 2025 to March next year.

One of those two options raised the possibility of compelling students to go to school on Saturdays to complete the 180-day school calendar, which Marcos does not want.

A second option – one which does not have the Saturday school scenario – reduces the number of school days to 165, but Marcos said that would be “too short” for students, and would compromise learning outcomes.

Habaan lang natin ‘yung school days. Para matagal, dagdagan na lang natin ‘yung school days, basta huwag natin gagalawin ‘yung Saturday . So, school days will remain the same. Standard lang,” President Marcos told Vice President Duterte in a briefing, according to the PCO.

(Let’s just extend the school days, but let’s not interrupt students’ Saturdays. So school days will remain the same. We do the standard.)

As of late April, 7,188 schools have instead shifted to remote learning due to sweltering heat. Most of the existing 47,678 schools provide classrooms that are not climate-resilient.

Students are still weathering through school year 2023 to 2024, which ends this May 31. – Rappler.com

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Dwight de Leon

Dwight de Leon is a multimedia reporter who covers President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the Malacañang, and the Commission on Elections for Rappler.