MANILA – The Department of Education on Tuesday adjusted the academic calendar, moving the end of the school year to July from June to address learning gaps.
In an order, Education Secretary Leonor Briones said the department identified learning gaps among students as it continued to monitor the implementation of distance learning.
“These learning gaps are attributable to reduced academic opportunities at home and substantial loss of live contact with teachers,” Briones said in the order.
The DepEd moved the third grading period from March 22 to May 15 and the fourth quarter from May 17 to July 10, based on the order. The second quarter ended last February 27.
The fourth quarter, and thus the school year, was originally scheduled to end on June 11, 2021.
From March 1 to 12, schools will conduct intervention and remediation activities for learners, according to the order.
On March 15 to 19, teachers will attend a professional development program organized by their schools or other relevant units of the DepEd.
The new policy covers all public elementary and secondary schools nationwide while private schools, technical and vocational institutions, and higher education institutions offering basic education are only encouraged to implement the DepEd’s guidelines.
It remains unknown whether the new policy would shorten summer break for students.
DepEd implemented distance learning—where students study in their homes through printed and digital modules, online classes, television and radio—to avoid exposing education workers and learners to the risk of COVID-19, which has sickened over 580,000 in the country.
President Rodrigo Duterte recently rejected the DepEd’s proposal to pilot test limited face-to-face classes despite calls from various groups and lawmakers to safely reopen schools, citing challenges in distance learning.