Reverting to Old School Calendar: A Strategic Solution for Philippine Education
The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) has recently made headlines with their proposal for reverting to the old school calendar in the Philippines. This initiative, focused on reverting to the old school calendar, they argue, would not only ensure a more conducive learning environment for students but also uphold the two-month mandatory school breaks for teachers.
The Challenges of the Current School Calendar
The current school calendar in the Philippines has been met with numerous challenges, prompting discussions about reverting to the old school calendar. The TDC Chairperson, Benjo Basas, highlighted the extreme heat experienced in schools during the school year as a significant issue. This heatwave has led to health problems among teachers and students alike, forcing many schools to consider the idea of reverting to the old school calendar and switch back to less-desirable online and modular learning.
The alternative delivery modes, which were implemented to mitigate the impact of the heat, have had adverse effects on learning. According to Basas, these methods cannot replace the value of face-to-face classes. The situation is further aggravated by congested, poorly ventilated, and inadequately insulated classrooms in public schools.
The Proposal: Reverting to the Old School Calendar
In response to these challenges, the TDC has proposed a strategic solution: reverting to the old school calendar. The group believes that this move would provide immediate relief to the current issues plaguing the education system.
The proposal includes the following:
- The start of classes for the next school year, SY 2023-2024, should be set on August 28, allowing for a 46-day school break. The end of the school year would be on April 27, 2024, with a total of 193 school days, including 33 Saturdays of asynchronous class.
- The remaining 14 days of the supposed school break should be treated as leave credit or paid vacation or sick leave, to be availed as needed by individual teachers. This would complete the average 60-day school break.
- School Year 2024-2025 should start on June 17, 2024, with a 44-day school break, and end on April 11, 2025, or 198 days. The remaining 16 days should be treated as leave credit or paid vacation or sick leave.
The Anticipated Response from the Department of Education
The TDC is eagerly awaiting the response from the Department of Education (DepEd) regarding their proposal. They hope that the collective wisdom of teachers and school administrators will be given the proper consideration it deserves.
The Impact of the Proposed Changes
The proposed changes to the school calendar could have a significant impact on the education system in the Philippines. By reverting to the old school calendar, the TDC believes that the learning environment would be more conducive for students, and the mandatory school break for teachers would not be compromised.
Do you think a longer school calendar is a good idea?
While a longer school calendar might seem beneficial in terms of academic learning, it’s essential to consider the physical and mental well-being of both students and teachers. The current proposal by the TDC takes into account these factors, ensuring a balanced approach to education.
How long has the traditional school calendar been around?
The traditional school calendar, which typically starts in June and ends in March, has been a longstanding practice in the Philippines. However, changes were made in recent years due to various factors, including the global pandemic.