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Letters to the Editor

Be aggressive, DepEd

The Philippine Star

There is still so much discussion about going back to the old June-March school year. While yes, there is a law (RA 7797) that prescribes around 200 school days per year, the realities of the world in 2024 under climate change demands a different reaction.

The day-to-day suspending of classes in public schools is definitely not helping our learners. Asynchronous (please look up the meaning before throwing the term around), synchronous, ADM (alternative delivery mode), online, modules may all just be gobbledygook but if they facilitate the transition to the June-March school year, let’s go for it.

So finally the DepEd is “open” to the earlier return – rather than their planned five-year transition period – via a more “aggressive” formula. There is a “sacrifice” of having only 165 school days this year, short of the 180-220 days required by law. They have submitted a recommendation to Malacañang and are awaiting the President’s decision. But the President had already said he is in favor of a faster transition to the old school calendar. So let’s hope this becomes official sooner rather than later.

The current school year is supposed to end on June 15, but the DepEd is seeing it ending on May 31 instead. That’s still three weeks to go. Next school year is supposed to start on July 29, 2024 and end on May 16, 2025.

A long time ago when I was in school, classes ended before Holy Week and began in the first week of June. This schedule had worked for years and years. Summer “officially” started when Ash Wednesday came around, start of the Cuaresma or Lent. There were calls – there still are I think – for our school calendar to synchronize with the rest of the world – the Western world, that is – but that is pure nonsense. Our calendar went awry because of COVID, when we started onsite classes only in October 2020. Now let’s get back to what works for us here in the Philippines. Let’s just do it, DepEd, be aggressive and get our learners back to Philippine reality.  — Maritess Lim-Guzman, Mandaluyong

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