By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
To guide both public and private elementary and secondary schools nationwide on the upcoming school events and activities for this academic year which starts in June, the Department of Education (DepEd) has officially released the calendar for School Year (SY) 2018-2019.
Education Secretary Leonor Briones, in DepEd Order No. 25 series 2018, issued the official School Calendar for this coming school year dated May 24, wherein she announced that “the School Year 2018-2019 shall formally open on Monday, June 4, 2018 and shall end on Friday, April 5, 2019.”
Briones said that the school calendar “shall consist of 208 school days inclusive of the five-day In-Service Training and the three days for the Parent-Teacher Conferences (PTC) conducted within the school year.” However, she clarified that “learners are expected to be in school for a total of 200 class days.”
“Private schools may deviate from this School Calendar,” Briones said. However, she noted that “they may not start classes earlier than the first Monday of June and not later than the last day of August” – as provided in Republic Act No. 7797 entitled An Act to Lengthen the School Calendar from Two Hundred (200) Days to Not More Than Two Hundred Twenty (220) Class Days. “Said schools should notify in advance their respective regional
offices (ROs) regarding any deviation from the school calendar,” she said.
Learners are expected to be in school for a total of 200 class days for this SY. “To ensure quality in the school operation and actual teaching learning, the 187-day contact time for teachers and learners is non-negotiable,” Briones said. “The physical presence of school heads in schools shall also be enforced,” she added.
Briones noted that the Implementing Guidelines on the SY 2018-2019 calendar of activities have been provided “to enable the schools to effectively and efficiently implement the school events and activities.” Likewise, she said
that these “guidelines shall allow the ROs and the schools division offices to provide support to schools, particularly in the areas of instruction and progress monitoring and evaluation.”
Meanwhile, Briones reminded that schools “may observe national and local celebrations /activities and holidays” other than those issued by DepEd “provided that the activities are beneficial to the teaching-learning process, and that the total number of class days shall not be compromised.”
Briones noted that local activities and observances that involve student participation, such as competitions, festivities, press conferences, culminating activities, and field demonstrations “must be regulated so as not to cause disruption of classes and to ensure that the required contact time or number of teaching-learning days is met.” She also encouraged Regions, Divisions and Schools to plan and implement these activities once in a school year or after each quarter. “There shall be no co-curricular and extra-curricular activities two weeks before the quarterly examinations,” she said.
When it comes to make-up classes, Briones said that these are “recommended in lieu of class cancellations due to celebrations and holidays, as well as natural and man-made calamities.” However, she explained that the “mechanism for the conduct of make-up classes must be agreed upon” by school heads and the Parent-Teacher Associations.” Thus, in this regard, the ROs “may issue a regional school calendar to reflect their respective concerns.”
Briones reminded that a general assembly shall be conducted by all schools to orient stakeholders on the curriculum, co-curricular programs and ancillary services to support learner development and the continuous improvement of school outcomes. “The assembly shall be done at least a week before the school opening to ensure that the conduct of classes is done on the formal opening of classes on June 4,”she said.
Among the highlights of this coming SY’s calendar include the conduct of the Oplan Balik Eskwela (OBE) SY 2018-2019 from May 21 to June 8; Brigada Eskwela SY 2018 from May 21 to June 2; Deworming of School Children (Round 1- First Dosage) from July 02 to July 31; and the World Teachers’ Day celebration on October 5.
Other notable school activities include the General assembly and 1st Parent-Teacher Conference on June 02; the start of Classes for School Year (SY) 2018-2019 on June 4; First Quarter Examinations on August 9 -10; Distribution
of Report Cards and 2nd Parent-Teacher Conference on August 18; In-Service Training (INSET) for Teachers from October 22-26; Distribution of Report Cards and 3rd Parent-Teacher Conference on October 27, and Resumption of Classes from Semestral Break on October 29.
The School Holidays and Breaks for SY 2018-2017 also include Independence Day (June 12), Eid’l Fitr (June 15), National Heroes’ Day (August 27), Start of Semestral Break (October 22), All Saints’ Day (November 01), Bonifacio Day (November 30) and Start of Christmas Break on December 22 and will resume on January 2, 2019.
Briones also reminded that all elementary schools should administer the Philippine Early Childhood Development (ECD) Checklist for Kindergarten Children during the opening of classes, midyear, and end of school year. “The result will be used as basis for planning and formulating appropriate interventions for
children,” she added.
Meanwhile, Briones said that a career guidance program shall be conducted between July and November 2018 “to guide Grades 9 and 10 students in making informed choices on their preferred Senior High School track.” Meanwhile, at the end of the Second Quarter, a semestral break for learners “shall be observed to evaluate
individual teachers and their collective performance, to conduct the In-Service Training (INSET) activities, and to prepare their Instructional Materials (IMs) for their continuing professional development.”
To assure quality of learning, Briones said that “formative assessments shall be regularly conducted by the teachers.” On the national level, the Bureau of Education Assessment (BEA) shall administer the National Career Assessment
Examination (NCAE) to assess the aptitude and interest of students and provide them with relevant information on their skills, abilities, and readiness for academic and non-academic courses, the Early Language Literacy and Numeracy Assessment (ELLNA) to measure the literacy skills of the learners in their respective Mother Tongues, Filipino and English and the National Achievement Test (NAT) to measure what learners in Grade 6 and Grade 10 know and can do in five learning areas. “The summer/remedial classes shall begin on Monday, April
15, 2019 and end on Friday, May 24, 2019,” she said.
In preparation for the opening of classes for SY 2019-2020, Briones the schools shall conduct the following activities: Early Registration of learners, beginning on Saturday, January 26, 2019 in the schools where they wish to study; the Brigada Eskwela from May 13 to 17, 2019 to enable the community and the school to prepare their facilities before the start of another school year; Oplan Balik Eskwela from May 20 to May 31, 2019 to facilitate the enrolment of
learners; and In-Service Training (INSET) activities for teachers from May 27 to May 31, 2019, a week before the opening of classes.