The school year, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, is set to start on October 5, according to the Department of Education (DepEd). Some schools and universities have even started as early as this month to compensate for the time they lost due to the quarantine and the preparations they had to do for the incoming school year. And while many students, teachers, and school faculty are calling for an academic freeze, the Department of Education says the academic year will still push through next month.
The resumption of classes goes without saying that minimum health protocols will be observed and strict guidelines will be followed. But aside from protocols and guidelines with regards to COVID-19, some changes might also occur during the academic year 2020-2021. (Read: Teachers, Students Start Donation Drives Before Schools Resume in October)
What exactly are some of these major changes that we ought to expect? Read on!
No Semester Breaks
The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) says that with the adjustments universities and colleges had to make, removing summer and Christmas breaks may be an option. “You put a Christmas break because students have to go home, (now,) they’re not going home. They’re already at home,” said CHED chairperson Prospero de Vera.
He added that some institutions were worried because the summer break will coincide with the second semester, which is why a suggestion was made to remove the summer break and have two straights semesters.
De Vera added that colleges and universities have a more flexible schedule which is why they see it possible to remove breaks.
No Periodic Exams
DepEd Undersecretary Diosdado San Antonio said that holding periodic exams and using the typical grading system for the incoming school year is not encouraged as students will be learning a new blended learning system. (Read: What is TV and Radio-Based Teaching? We Asked a Teacher-Broadcaster!)
He also said that it is to prevent cheating during exams, as students will be able to access their materials at home. “We are dispensing with the periodical exams in our proposed revised policy on assessment of learning. We’ll do written outputs and performance tasks,” he said.
“This is the best time for us, so we are appealing to the parents, grandparents, and adults to help DepEd actually reinforce the value of honesty,” Undersecretary San Antonio added.