MANILA - The proposal of the University of the Philippines to change the school opening from June to August will cover some 2,000 elementary and high school students enrolled in its various basic education programs nationwide.
UP vice president for public affairs Prospero de Vera told The STAR the basic education programs maintained by various UP units are not under the jurisdiction of the Department of Education (DepEd).
The UP Integrated School, for instance, is a laboratory school of the UP College of Education in Diliman, Quezon City. It offers both primary and secondary education, and has 1,116 students.
The UP College of Arts and Science in Los Baños maintains the UP Rural High School, which has 495 students.
The UP high school in Cebu, which is under the Professional Education Program of UP Cebu, has 158 students.
The UP Visayas College of Arts and Sciences in Miag-ao, Iloilo also maintains the UP high school in the province, which has 250 students.
De Vera said the UP administration does not see any problem with the change in the academic calendar, noting that the basic education programs of the university are ready for the shift.
The proposal to change the academic calendar is pending before the UP Board of Regents, the university’s highest policy-making body.
The UP-Diliman university council – composed of full-time faculty members with the rank of assistant professor and above – had voted not to endorse the proposal of its administrators.
UP Diliman chancellor Caesar Saloma said the council recommends a more in-depth study “to understand the possible advantages gained as well as challenges encountered when effecting such a shift.”
However, De Vera said the position of the Diliman university council was only a recommendation and that the decision will be up to the Board of Regents.
He added that the UP professors’ stand does not reflect that of other UP campuses which have finished consultations and expressed readiness for the shift.
The state university has seven constituent universities – Diliman, Manila, Los Baños, Baguio, Visayas, Mindanao, an Open University and an autonomous college in Cebu.
De Vera said that UP president Alfredo Pascual wants the new school calendar implemented this year.
Open to discussions
Sen. Pia Cayetano, chairperson of the Senate committee on education, arts and culture, is open to discussions on the change in the school calendar.
Cayetano recalled that the proposal was discussed at a Senate hearing during the 15th Congress, but mainly in view of weather concerns. – With Christina Mendez