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Philippines DepEd proposes start of school year on August 22

July 22, 2022

Original Article:

The original article requires translation.

The Department of Education (DepEd) said Tuesday that it is looking at opening the school year 2022- 2023 on August 22 as it eyes blended learning with more in-person classes.

"We are proposing to start on August 22 and to end on July 7, 2023. There will be 215 days [in all]," Diosdado San Antonio, undersecretary for curriculum and instruction, told reporters in a mix of English and Tagalog during a virtual press conference on Tuesday.

Each quarter will take place over an 11-week period. Here are the details of DepEd's proposed school calendar:

First quarter: Aug. 22 to Nov. 4
Second quarter: Nov. 7 to Feb. 3
Third quarter: Feb. 13 to April 28

Fourth quarter: May 2 to July 7

The Christmas break this year may start on Dec. 19, 2022 and classes are seen to resume on Jan 2, 2023. 

San Antonio added that the end-of-year rites or graduation ceremonies are expected to be held from July 10 to 14, 2023. 

Meanwhile, the school year 2023-2024 is projected to start on Aug. 28, 2023.

The DepEd is the agency which supervises all public and private elementary and secondary education institutions. 

As COVID-19 cases decline and as the government places more areas under lower risk assessments, the DepEd has been reporting that more and more schools are willing to undertake in-person classes. Latest data from the DepEd showed that over 23,900 public and private schools are now participating in the agency's "progressive expansion" of face-to-face classes, as of Monday afternoon.

Teachers' group slams mandatory on-site reporting
DepEd earlier ordered all of its offices, schools and community learning centers (CLCs) in places under the lowest alert level- Alert Level 1- to follow the 100% onsite reporting requirement. 

"[This] is an opportunity to improve the implementation of multiple learning delivery moda-Iities, through a more efhcient supervision and monitoring of the proper use of learning modules and online platform, thereby promoting uniformity in the delivery of curriculum and instruction," DepEd said in a memorandum dated April 6. 

During the agency's Tuesday press con, DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones said this is in line with the guidelines of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF). 

"During the past two years, we were very dependent on online and non face-to-face lessons in transmitting learning. The demand was very, very loud and very, very noisy. [People were saying,] "We want face to face"...This is exactly what we are doing," she said. 

Briones clarified that they are not giving up on online learning and other approaches in delivering educational services, even as the DepEd is pushing for the resumption of face-to-face classes in eligible areas.

Teachers' group Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Philippines, meanwhile, criticized the agency's memo, claiming that it will go against effective education delivery as the country "still largely employs distance learning modalities."

On Tuesday, unionists from ACT's National Capital Region chapter marched to the DepEd's central office to demand the suspension of its policy, claiming that the agency did not consult with stakeholders before implementing such a memorandum. 

The pandemic has forced both teachers and students to adopt distance learning arrangements, which were fraught with problems such as spotty internet or lack of funds for gadgets.

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