Department of Education Considers Ending School Year in March 2025

Department of Education Considers Ending School Year in March 2025

The Department of Education (DepEd) has recently proposed a new schedule for the 2024-2025 school year, suggesting it end in March 2025. This proposal, made to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., comes amid strong requests to return to the traditional April-May school break.

DepEd Assistant Secretary Francis Bringas explained during a Senate committee hearing on basic education that the department has offered various options to the President, including this more aggressive change. “We respectfully ask the committee to give the President time to carefully review these options. DepEd is ready to follow through with the decision,” said Bringas.

Previously, DepEd had indicated that it might take three years to switch back to the April-May school break. However, ending the school year in March would shorten the school calendar to 165 days, which is below the current required range of 180 to 220 days. “There is a law that sets the minimum at 180 days, but we could consider counting some days through alternative delivery modes, not just in-person classes,” Bringas added.

This shift would also affect the summer break for both teachers and students. “If the school year ends on March 31, the new school year would start in June. This would give teachers and students April and May off, but it would compress our time to cover all the learning competencies,” he explained.

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian supports taking decisive action. “Weather patterns like La Niña or El Niño are unpredictable. It’s tough, but we need to go back to our original school calendar,” he said.

The need for flexibility has been underscored by recent weather challenges, with DepEd reporting that extreme heat led to the suspension of in-person classes in 7,605 schools from April 1 to April 26, affecting nearly 7 million learners. DepEd has empowered schools to shift to alternative learning methods during such disruptions.

Read: List of Schools with Classes Suspended Due to Extreme Heat

As the debate continues, the decision awaits President Marcos’s careful consideration, with potential impacts on the educational system and the routine of millions of students and teachers across the nation. Meanwhile, the state weather bureau PAGASA warns that the high temperatures could last until mid-May, adding another layer of complexity to the planning of the school calendar.