Senator Win Gatchalian supports the Department of Education’s (DepEd) moves to revert to the old school calendar, which starts from June and ends in March or April.
Gatchalian has been calling for a gradual return to the old school calendar. For the senator, reverting to the old school calendar will allow learners to bond with their families during summers, where family gatherings are usually held. He further explained that, as elections take place in May, scheduling summer breaks for April and May will give way for more seamless poll preparations.
Results of a Pulse Asia survey conducted from June 19 to 23, 2023 revealed that 80% of Filipinos favor the return of the summer break to April and May.
Last year, Gatchalian filed Proposed Senate Resolution No. 672, which sought an inquiry on the determination of the school year opening. In a hearing conducted on August 23 last year, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services (PAGASA) pointed out that while the current school calendar coincides with fewer days of extreme rainfall and less cancellation of classes due to tropical cyclones, there are also more school days with extremely hot temperature. The PAGASA also pointed out that the average temperature in the Philippines already rose by 0.75 percent.
The DepEd has been conducting consultations with stakeholders, including teachers’ groups, schools, parents, and student leaders. Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) Chairperson Benjo Basas cited an agreement with the DepEd to end School Year 2023-2024 earlier. The end of the current school year (SY) was originally set for June 14, but the TDC said there’s an agreement to end it earlier.
DepEd Deputy Spokesperson Francis Cesar Bringas, on the other hand, was quoted in news reports saying that the department eyes a July school opening for SY 2024-2025, and a June opening by June 2025-2026. Consultations between DepEd and stakeholders, however, continue as they head towards the finalizing stage of the policy.
“Mahalaga ang pagsasagawa ng maayos na konsultasyon sa lahat ng stakeholder lalo na’t pabor ang karamihan sa ating mga kababayan na ibalik sa buwan ng Hunyo ang simula ng pasukan,” said Gatchalian, Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Basic Education.