Bongbong Marcos rejects Sara Duterte’s SY shift options

The chief executive approves Philippines’ gradual return to old academic calendar

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr has approved the schedule for the upcoming school year, with classes set to commence on July 29, 2024, and conclude on April 15, 2025.

“In response to public concerns on the schedule of classes, President Ferdinand R Marcos Jr on Tuesday approved to start reverting the country’s school calendar to the traditional arrangement,” the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) said in a press release Wednesday.

This decision marks a significant step toward reverting the country’s school calendar to its traditional schedule. “This will start the gradual return of the school year to June of every year until end of March the next year,” the PCO added.

Marcos Jr reportedly met with Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte at Malacañan Palace to deliberate on two options for implementing the school year (SY) 2024-2025 calendar, as part of the transition back to the traditional June-to-March schedule.

During the sectoral meeting, Marcos Jr instructed the Department of Education to initiate the return to the standard school calendar starting with SY 2024-2025.

Duterte presented two options for the school calendar shift, which aimed to conclude the school year on March 31, 2025.

The first option proposed 180 school days, including 15 in-person Saturday classes, while the second option suggested 165 school days without in-person Saturday classes.

“But the President said the 165-day school calendar is ‘too short’ as such arrangement will significantly reduce the number of school days and contact time that may compromise learning outcomes,” the PCO reported. “He also did not want students to be going to school on Saturdays to complete the 180-day school calendar because it will jeopardize their well-being and demand more resources.”

As a “compromise,” Marcos Jr proposed extending the school year to end on April 15, 2025. This adjustment would allow students to complete 180 school days without the need for Saturday classes.

“Let’s just extend the school days. To lengthen the schedule, we’ll add more school days without interrupting students' Saturdays. So, the school days will remain the same. We do the standard,” Marcos Jr advised Duterte during the meeting.

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