By Charissa Luci-Atienza
A partylist lawmaker Monday cited the need to synchronize the academic calendar with the fiscal year of state universities and colleges (SUCs), warning that starting the school year without the needed fiscal resources “can only lead to disruption and a whole lot of unnecessary hardships for students and faculty.”
1-ANG EDUKASYON party-list Rep. Bong Belaro batted for the synchronization of the academic calendar with the fiscal year of SUCs.
He said his proposal “makes budget sense” and gives most of every year’s senior high school graduates three to four months of vacation before moving on to college.
“Starting both the academic year and fiscal year in August in the SUCs follows sound budget logic because these schools should start classes with their respective budgets available for disbursement,” Belaro said in a statement.
“When the national budget bill is approved, it takes a few months before tons of paperwork go through the budget release process. With free college education now in place, that means about 2 million sets of documents which have to be processed and this takes up time,” he explained.
Belaro sought the passage of House Bill 4044 which provides that all education levels shall have a standard or common academic calendar.
“With basic education levels ending in March and April, an August start for SUCs gives them at least three months (May, June, July) to process documents, screen and oriented students, and recruit needed faculty for all the class sections needing teachers,” he said.
The Assistant Minority Leader said the SUCs also need those three months to also prepare for budgets for all the enrolled scholars and the payroll for the faculty.
“An August start of school at all levels would mean all schools have a common beginning and ending which gives everyone a common vacation season for scheduling family vacations and bonding. Students and their families also need leisure time to recharge,” Belaro said.
He noted that the Department of Education (DepEd) decided to keep its June to March/April school year, partly because it does not want classes held in the summer because the intense hot weather makes it difficult for student to focus and learn their lessons in class.