Should the start of the school year be moved to September?

By Alexander Villafania

PASAY CITY, METRO MANILA – For nearly two weeks now, many public schools had to suspend classes due to typhoons, prompting Senator Franklin Drilon to renew calls to move the opening of the school year to September.

In a statement, Drilon noted that classrooms that are not directly affected by storms are being used as evacuation centers, which disrupts classes. The senator urges the Department of Education (DepEd) to make a study looking at the possibility of changing the start of classes from June to September.

Recent reports showed that 168 public schools in flood-affected areas in Luzon were used as evacuation centers. Drilon fears that less number of school days for children would affect the quality of education.

He added rains could also affect their welfare especially when students have to attend classes while the rain is heavy and there could be flooding.

“That scenario is alarming, and what is more disturbing is the fact that it is just two months ago since the new school year opened and yet, we are already experiencing a number of class suspensions that could affect the mandated 40 and 36 weeks of classes for elementary and secondary education and college level, respectively. If the school calendar is revised, our schoolchildren will be less exposed to the very adverse weather conditions," he said.

Drilon filed Senate Bill No. 2407 that aims to amend the school year for public and private schools.

There have been several calls to move the start of the school year, including Representative Lani Mercado-Revilla (2nd district Cavite) and former Rep. Ronald Singson (1st district, Ilocos Sur).

However, the DepEd has already made adjustments in the current school year based on the K+12 program that extends the number of basic education years from 10 to 12. The new school year calendar would classes start on June 4.

Previously, DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro said that there is no need to change the school year as there are only a few schools that are affected during inclement weather. He also said schools can conduct make up classes for students affected by flooding or heavy rains.

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