School opening: Last week of August
The Department of Education (DepEd) in the Philippines is contemplating the final week of August as the commencement of the upcoming academic year in public elementary and high schools. This decision is still provisional as the department is in the process of finalizing the official calendar for the next school year.
The initial date for the start of classes was set for August 28, 2023. However, this date was declared a holiday in honor of National Heroes Day. This change has led to various groups advocating for the DepEd to revert the school opening to June. The aim is to avoid conducting classes during the peak heat months of April and May.
The DepEd has yet to issue a definitive decision on this matter. However, officials have previously mentioned that if the shift to the old calendar occurs, it would be implemented “gradually”. This gradual implementation is to ensure that there are still breaks between school years, a necessary respite for both students and teachers.
Several teachers’ groups have voiced concerns over the additional workload during what should have been their mandatory school break. For instance, the DepEd recently started implementing the National Learning Camp, which is part of its National Learning Recovery Program. While participation in the camp is voluntary, some teachers have expressed dissatisfaction, stating that they feel obligated to participate.
In preparation for the school opening, teachers will also have to participate in the annual Brigada Eskwela and enrollment period. The DepEd National Capital Region office has issued a memorandum stating that the national kickoff for Brigada Eskwela will be held at the Tarlac National High School on August 7. The regional kickoff program in NCR will be on August 10 at the Mataas na Paaralang Neptali A. Gonzalez in Mandaluyong City.