Schools file for August opening-A A +A
By JM Agreda
Thursday, March 27, 2014
TWO big universities in Baguio City have applied for an academic calendar shift by opening classes in August.
Commission on Higher Education-Cordillera education supervisor and information officer Dr. Mariano Marchan confirmed Wednesday the application of University of Baguio (UB) and Saint Louis University (SLU), two of three universities with the highest enrolment in the city, to shift their academic calendars by opening classes in August.
If both top universities in the region will be allowed to shift their calendars for academic year 2014 to 2015, UB and SLU will be the third school to implement opening of classes in August together with the University of the Philippines–Baguio, which also earlier announced the academic calendar shift together with UP Diliman and other UP System campuses.
Several private universities in Metro Manila such as Ateneo De Manila University and University of Santo Tomas have also announced shifts in their academic calendars.
In an official announcement dated March 25, SLU president Fr. Jessie Hechanova said the decision for an academic calendar shift "came after careful consideration of existing laws, thorough reflection and study, series of meetings, and due consultations with internal stakeholders as well as external partners."
The Board of Trustees of SLU–Baguio City in its March 22 Board Meeting approved to adopt the August-July academic calendar in all levels, including the Laboratory Elementary and High Schools, effective academic year 2014-2015, and has duly informed the Department of Education and the Commission on Higher Education of the said decision.
Hechanova said the shift to a new and synchronized academic calendar with the rest of the higher education institutions Association of Southeast Asian Nations is an integral part of the general strategy to internationalize SLU’s programs, which is in keeping with the Asean Integration by 2015. "This gives SLU the welcome opportunity to engage in joint pilot projects with its foreign HEI partners to promote student mobility through regional exchange programs. This also means for SLU graduates the chance to work in other Asean countries as recognized professionals," Hechanova said.
Meantime, UB vice president for Academic Affairs Rebecca Miranda’s office told reporters Thursday morning the university has no official announcement for an academic calendar shift but confirmed they officially forwarded their application for a shift in class opening to Ched.
The university has also placed tarpaulins that it is Asean 2015 ready including its elementary and high school departments that have also shifted to DepEd's K to 12 program.
However, in a latest statement issued March 26, Ched Chairperson Patricia Licuanan said for autonomous universities such as UB and SLU, it is really part of their prerogative while for other non-autonomous higher education institutions Ched generally prescribes a June start.
Non-autonomous HEIs may still adopt a different start in their academic calendar as long as they inform Ched in writing 15 days before the June start and get the commission’s approval.
The academic calendar shift is still in consonance with Republic Act 7797 Section 3, which states school year shall start in the first Monday of June but not later than the last day of August. It is also in consonance with Republic Act 7722 which provides leeway for some HEIs to establish their own academic calendar.
Licuanan added Ched stands firm in its belief that the best way to internationalize or engage with the global academic community is to intensify its quality assurance, capacity-building and institutional development programs. She added on the point of Asean integration, there is no provision in the Asean integration that HEIs should also shift their academic calendars.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on March 28, 2014.