Return to old school calendar can’t be rushed – DepEd

Return to old school calendar can’t be rushed

Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte has emphasized that the move back to the traditional school calendar must be carefully thought out, highlighting the importance of rest for both teachers and students. Speaking after an event with the Department of Education (DepEd) and Go Negosyo, Duterte stressed, “We cannot compromise the rest period of our teachers and learners. Continuous classes aren’t an option because rest is necessary.”

In a significant announcement on February 20, the DepEd revealed plans for a gradual shift back to the original school break timings starting from the next academic year. According to Department Order No. 003 S. of 2024, the current school year will now conclude on May 31, 2024. Furthermore, the 2024 to 2025 school year is set to commence on July 29, 2024, and end on May 16, 2025. This adjustment aims to eventually have the school year conclude in April by the 2026 to 2027 academic year and in March by the 2027 to 2028 school year.

This gradual shift has been met with a call for consideration towards the wellbeing of teachers and students amid the changing schedule. On April 1, the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) acknowledged the slow transition but urged the DepEd to adopt strategies to shield both educators and learners from the scorching heat. Among the TDC’s proposals were the shortening of in-person class durations and allowing teachers to dress more comfortably to cope with the heat.

In response to these concerns, the DepEd has directed all public schools across the country to start implementing asynchronous classes or distance learning from April 8. This move aims to provide students with the flexibility to complete their assignments, projects, and other academic requirements without the pressure of continuous physical presence in classrooms.

As the education sector navigates these changes, the emphasis remains on ensuring that the transition does not adversely affect the rest periods and wellbeing of both teachers and students. The careful, step-by-step approach to returning to the old school calendar reflects a balanced consideration of educational needs and health concerns, illustrating the DepEd’s commitment to both academic excellence and the welfare of its constituents.