‘Walang break?’ : DepEd school calendar shows no clear indication of summer vacation

Published February 26, 2021, 5:11 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

While netizens continue to call out the Department of Education (DepEd) for planning to extend the school year which will result in a shorter break, there is no clear indication of a two-month summer vacation this school year.

Based on the School Calendar and Activities for School Year (SY) 2020-2021 or DepEd Order No. 030 series of 2020 issued by Education Secretary Leonor Briones dated Oct. 2, there is no entry indicating the summer vacation period for public school students this school year.

After two postponements, classes for this school year officially started in public schools nationwide on Oct. 5. Originally, the SY 2020-2021 was scheduled to start on June 1 but it was moved to Aug. 24 due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) situation in the country.

The Aug. 24 school opening was once postponed after President Duterte approved DepEd’s recommendation to defer school opening to Oct. 5 pursuant to Republic Act (RA) No. 11480.

The said law, signed in July 2020, gives the President power to move the school opening past August due to calamities upon the recommendation of the DepEd Secretary.

Based on the amended school calendar, the Academic Quarter 1 was scheduled from Oct. 5 to Nov. 28 while the Academic Quarter 2 started on Dec. 1 to Feb. 6.

Academic Quarter 3 started on Feb. 15 to April 6 while the Academic Quarter 4 is scheduled to start on April 12 to June 5. The end of school year rites may be conducted starting June 7 to 11 – which is also the last day of the school year.

The school calendar indicated the regular holidays in the months of April and May. However, if this schedule will be followed, the traditional two-month summer vacation, which usually starts in April until May, may no longer be applicable this school year.

Aside from the absence of the “summer” break, students are also expected to attend Summer Classes starting June 14 until July 23 which is scheduled as the last day or end of the activity.

Asked for a clarification, DepEd Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction Diosdado San Antonio told the Manila Bulletin on Friday, Feb. 26, that there might still be changes in the school calendar. “Pinag-uusapan pa ang school calendar adjustments (School calendar adjustments are still being discussed),” he said.

DepEd also noted that concerned officials are still discussing possible adjustments in the school calendar depending on current health situation, the reports coming from schools division offices and regional offices, and the feedback from stakeholders – including students, parents, and teachers – among others.

Last week, DepEd became trending on social media for its plans to extend the school year. Netizens expressed their disappointment on the announcement noting that students are already “tired and overwhelmed” under the current distance learning set-up.