A recent survey conducted by Pulse Asia and commissioned by Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian has shown that an overwhelming majority of Filipinos support the reinstatement of the April and May summer break for students. The survey, which involved 1,200 respondents, revealed that 80% of them were in favor of bringing back the summer break. Only 8% disagreed with the idea, while 11% remained undecided.
The sentiment was echoed across different regions, with the majority of respondents from Metro Manila (81%), Luzon (73%), Visayas (90%), and Mindanao (86%) expressing their desire to reinstate the April and May summer break for students.
The survey was conducted from June 19 to 23, giving valuable insights into the public’s stance on the matter.
Sen. Gatchalian, who chairs the Senate committee on basic education, highlighted the clear voice of the citizens in favor of restoring the students’ vacation during April and May.
He emphasized the need to carefully study the steps necessary to promote the welfare of both teachers and students, acknowledging the challenge of reverting to the old school calendar.
The Department of Education, represented by spokesperson Michael Poa, has acknowledged the proposal and plans to form a group to examine the feasibility of reverting to the previous academic calendar.
One of the concerns raised is the avoidance of holding classes during the intense summer heat, which can be detrimental to both teaching and learning conditions.
In the past, the Department of Education had resisted aligning its calendar with the academic calendar in higher education. However, the Commission on Higher Education recommended synchronizing the calendars in 2019, covering the same period as the government’s fiscal year for state universities.
The COVID-19 pandemic prompted the Department of Education to adjust its class opening schedule in 2020, moving it from June to October to accommodate the transition to blended learning. Since then, class openings have been scheduled for August.
Notably, a survey conducted among approximately 11,000 teachers in the last week of March revealed that a significant percentage—67%—of public school teachers experienced “intolerable” heat inside classrooms, leading to distractions for students and affecting their attendance.