Ched reviewing changes on school calendar

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Friday, February 7, 2014


THE Commission on Higher Education (Ched) has formed a technical working group (TWG) to look into proposals on school calendar.

The group is composed of stakeholders from the education sector headed by Dr. Ester Garcia, former Ched chair and President of the University of the East with representatives from the Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations, Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges, the Department of Education and the National Youth Commission.

The TWG will conduct a study and provide recommendations on the effectivity of suggested shifting of school opening before March 2014 ends.

In a statement, Ched Commissioner Patricia Licuanan said that the agency is concerned about the possible implications and impact of these changes should more institutions follow suit and that proper study, consultation and preparation are necessary.

On Thursday, the University of the Philippines (UP), except the Diliman Campus, said they will implement the new opening of school year this year while the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) has announced that they will start the new schedule on school year 2015-2016.

It means that both schools will start their classes on the month of August until May for college while they were still verifying if they would implement it to elementary and high-school pupils.

"The decision to shift the academic calendar is part of the continuing efforts of UP to develop into a regional and global university and to maximize the opportunities offered by Asean integration and global educational partnerships," said UP president Alfredo Pascual in a statement released on Thursday.

"These changes are motivated by the desire of these institutions to internationalize their programs and the experience of their students and faculty. CHED allows higher education institutions (HEIs) to change their academic calendars as long as these are in accordance with the law," Licuanan said.

Meanwhile, the De La Salle University (DLSU) and the University of Santo Tomas (UST) have also informed Ched about their plan to revise their calendars.

Meanwhile, the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) supported the move of its member-school, ADMU, to move the start of its school year calendar from June to August.

"We can only show our support to them for taking the step towards a globally competitive educational institutions," Anthony Coloma, Advocacy and Information Management Officer in a text message.

He noted that although ADMU is one of their members, it is the ADMU’s discretion and communal decision to move into a new school calendar.

Coloma added that aside from Ateneo, there are other CEAP member schools that are considering to also changing the start of their school year.

"As far as I know, the other CEAP member schools discerning is De La Salle University (DLSU), University of Santo Tomas (UST)," he said.

The CEAP official added, "ADMU, UST and DLSU are autonomous schools because they have a long tradition of excellence in the area of education."

CEAP is the national association of Catholic educational institutions in the Philippines, which was established in 1941.

It has 1,252 members, which include universities and colleges. (With FP/Sunnex)

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