People still want June opening for classes

classroom palma hall
By Ashzel Hachero – The Department of Education yesterday said majority of Filipinos still prefer a school opening in June instead of the proposed September. Education Secretary Jesli Lapus said a survey conducted from August to September by the department showed 66 percent of respondents were against the September opening of classes, with 34 percent in favor.

The survey respondents came from schools in divisions nationwide and included teachers, parents, local government officials, and other education stakeholders.

A total of 145 out of the 197 schools divisions participated in the survey.

Thirteen regions out of the 17 were not in favor of moving the school opening to September.

In favor of a September opening were Region III (Central Luzon) with 54 percent of respondents, Region VI (Western Visayas) with 68 percent and Region IX (Zamboanga Peninsula) with 51 percent.

The department was not able to conduct a survey the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Lapus said he ordered the survey in response to proposed legislation to move the school opening.

The majority of respondents who were against the transfer of class opening said holding classes during the hot months of April and May is not conducive to learning.

They also argued that classrooms will need additional ventilation facilities during the hot months, thus, incurring additional expenses for electricity. Also, summer months are spent for family bonding activities and vacation.

Fiestas and other celebrations held during summer would affect the attendance of children in school while students usually work during summer for their school expenses.

Those in favor of the proposal cited health and economic reasons for the transfer of school opening. They said that children are safeguarded from illnesses and other health hazards brought about by the rainy weather and floods. According to them, children can assist parents during planting and harvest seasons. This reduces the possibility of absenteeism or dropping out, they said.

The prevention of the disruption or suspension of classes whenever schools are used as evacuation centers during floods, typhoons and related disasters, are also reasons in favor of the proposal.

The latest survey findings validated earlier polls showing that majority are still opposed to the transfer of the opening of classes.

A 2003 survey showed that 70 percent of respondents favored the original opening of classes in June, Lapus said.

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