By Charissa Luci-Atienza
Pampanga Rep. Aurelio Gonzales Jr. has proposed the mandatory shift of the academic calendar of all public and private schools and academic institutions beginning August this year.
He proposed that the start of the school year beginning school year 2018-2019 be synchronized.
“Initially, it raises the academic competitiveness of our students with those of our foreign neighbors as well as the academic standing and reputation of our educational institutions,” Gonzales said in filing House Bill 7350.
He said his proposal also promotes educational opportunities for Filipino students to study abroad by having local schools partner with foreign schools in exchange programs eventually leading to more employment opportunities for students abroad.
“It also aligns the lessons and curriculum of our educational institutions with those of foreign countries,” he said.
HB 7350 or the proposed Academic Calendar Shift Act of 2018 provides that the school year shall start as early as the second Monday of August, but not later than the second Monday of September.
Gonzales said the bill also seeks to promote the mobilization of faculty, giving Filipino teachers and professors the opportunity to teach abroad as well as for their foreign counterparts to be able to teach here in the Philippines, ” he said.
“Lastly, by moving the calendar away from June to August, it will result in less cancellation of classes due to heavy rains that occur during this period, protecting students from unnecessary harm that may occur from the typhoon season, ” he said.
The bill mandates that each school, college, private university or state university to adjust their curriculum according to and in keeping with the academic calendar shift.
“By implementing the shift throughout all levels of education across the country, the overall benefits of the shift will be most effective and the new calendar in place will be synchronized, ” Gonzales said.
House Bill 7350 tasks the Department of Education and the Commission on Higher Education in coordination with the associations of private schools to promulgate the implementing rules and regulations of the proposed Act.
Last year, Rizal Rep. Michael John Duavit filed a similar bill proposing that the opening of classes in all schools in the country be synchronized beginning 2018.