In response to the ASEAN Integration 2015 and the internationalization of education, top universities in the Philippines (University of the Philippines, Ateneo de Manila, De La Salle University, University of Santo Tomas, Adamson University) took the lead to shift their school calendar to July… August... September aligned with the international academic calendar. This initial move created a ripple effect among other Colleges and Universities concurring with the movement. There are at present 60 HEIs that have already shifted their school calendar to July…August… September. The movement is gathering greater support and more and more higher educational institutions are joining the bandwagon.

Republic Act no. 7797, which sets the school calendar to a maximum of 220 class days, states the school year shall start on the first Monday of June but not later than the last day of August. There is therefore no legal impediment to shift the opening of classes to July or August. The school would just have to inform the proper authority (CHED, DEPED, TESDA) the opening of their academic year.

Moreover, Senate Bill No. 1432, authored by Sen. Francis Escudero, seeks to synchronize the opening of classes in all schools, both public and private, in the Philippines. Thus the school year shall start on the second Monday of August but not later than second Monday of September. This proposal is corroborated by the House Bill 5802 filed by Rep. Michael John Duavit to promulgate the same advocacy. The bills are now being discussed in both houses, the Senate and the House of the Representatives.

Don Bosco College – Canlubang and Don Bosco Technical College of Mandaluyong implemented the change in their school calendar beginning academic year 2016-2017. To harmonize and to better facilitate the coordination of their activities they highly recommended the synchronization of the opening of class for three sectors of their educational ministry (Basic Education, Higher Education and TVET Centers).

The tide of adjusting the opening of class to July… August swiftly influenced the basic education sectors and several schools adopted the trend of moving the opening of class to July…August. In a survey of other schools offering basic education in the vicinity where Don Bosco schools are, the different settings reported that there are quite a number of schools that subscribe to the change. Majority of the parents of DBTI – Makati are favorable to the proposed change as reported by the two principals.

In the meeting held at the De Sales Hall - Provincial House, Makati City on March 6, 2018 participated by the Rectors, Economers. Principals/Deans, TVET Directors, DBEC Directors – Higher Education, Basic Education, TVET; Deputy for Pastoral Animation, Deputy for Finance together with representation from Don Bosco Center of Studies and other lay mission partners, the assembly through a consensus requested the approval for the synchronization of class opening of the academic year for all our educational centers in the Province to July 2, 2018 for the academic year 2018-2019 and August 5, 2019 for the academic year 2019-2020. The request was approved by the Provincial and his Council on March 22, 2018 and will be the guideline for all the educational centers of the FIN Province.

Fr. Onofre G. Inocencio Jr., SDB
ODEA – Basic Education


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