Following the adjustments in this school year’s calendar for public schools, the Department of Education (DepEd) said that private schools can make the “necessary adjustments” for the opening of School Year (SY) 2021-2022.
DepEd key officials, in separate messages, told the Manila Bulletin on Monday, March 8, that private schools are allowed to make changes in their respective calendars – especially in the enrollment process – as well as in other matters related to the opening of the new school year.
The department said this in response to the concerns being raised by some students, parents, and private schools administrators on the possible implications of having different school calendars this school year. Many private schools started their classes for SY 2020-2021 in August 2020 while public schools nationwide opened the current school year on Oct. 5.
“We note that private schools are granted certain autonomy in deciding on their school calendars,” said DepEd Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction Diosdado San Antonio.
Given this autonomy, San Antonio said that private schools can make changes in their respective schedules “so they can make the necessary adjustments too.” Undersecretary for Planning, Human Resource and Organizational Development, and Field Operations Jesus Mateo also explained that private schools are allowed to conduct their respective Early Registration activities.
“Private schools also have early enrollment, they can already, more or less gauge whether students coming from public schools will enrol,” Mateo said. “The only thing that should be considered is that the public school transferees will be late for one month – and that’s what private schools should prepare for catch up,” he added.
Meanwhile, DepEd Undersecretary and Chief of Staff Nepomuceno Malaluan said that the matters related to the upcoming school opening are still being discussed by the officials of the agency – both at the central and local levels.
“[I] will raise this in ExeCom [Executive Committee], the school opening is not yet fully discussed,” Malaluan said when asked about the possible implications of having different school calendars in public and private schools.
Malaluan said that the joint ExeCom and Management Committee (ManCom) meetings are regularly scheduled weekly.
On March 2, Education Secretary Leonor Briones signed and issued DepEd Order No. 012, s. 2021 entitled “Amendment to DepEd Order No. 030, s. 2020 (Amendment to DepEd Order No. 007, s. 2020, School Calendar and Activities for School Year 2020-2021)” indicating the changes and adjustments for SY 2020-2021.
Among the amendments made in the current school calendar include the intervention and remediation activities for learners scheduled starting March 1 to 12; In-Service Training (INSET) for teachers and school break for learners starting March 15 to 19; start of Quarter 3 from March 22 to May 15, 2021 and start of Quarter 4 from May 17 to July 10, 2021.
DepEd said that such policy is only implemented in “all public elementary and secondary schools” nationwide for SY 2020-2021. Private schools. however, are “encouraged” to implement these guidelines.