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    Posted May 10, 2014 by

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    Academic calendar shift in Phl questioned

    TWO Philippine lawmakers on Saturday said they have asked the House Committee on Higher and Technical Education to inquire into the planned academic calendar shift of several higher education institutions (HEIs) to determine its feasibility and ramifications to the entire education sector.
    Youth Rep. Terry Ridon and Rep. Roman Romulo of Pasig City filed two separate resolutions after HEIs disclosed their plan to change their academic calendars.
    Five universities in Manila have already announced their plans to shift the academic calendar from the current June to March, to either August-to-May, September-to-May or October-to-May calendar.
    The proponents said the calendar shift prepares the HEIs for the economic integration of Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) by 2015.
    It also aims to synchronize the country's academic calendar with other major universities in the world such as those in Northeast and other Asian countries, America and Europe, the proponents added.
    But Ridon and Romulo said Congress should carefully evaluate the calendar shift especially since the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Department of Education (DepEd) have expressed concern over the plan.
    In House Resolution 733, Ridon cited reports where CHED Chair Patricia Licuanan identified several setbacks posed by the academic shift, including its conflict with the schedule of several licensure examinations in the country.
    The DepEd also says there is no urgency behind the calendar shift, according to Ridon.
    "The DepEd sees no compelling reason for the academic shift to also be implemented for elementary and secondary schools since unlike in tertiary education, there is no common school opening for basic education institutions among ASEAN countries. DepEd also said the current academic calendar is in line with the Philippines' wet and dry seasons, along with the schedule of holidays and cultural festivities," Ridon said.
    He said even the National Union of Students of the Philippines and youth groups have rejected the move.
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