The Academic Calendar in the Philippines
A Historical Review
Maria Bernadette L. Abrera Department of History
The Beginning of Formal Education
The primary schools were open throughout the year except during the months of planting and harvesting. In the months of April, May, and June, afternoon classes were closed and only morning sessions were held. In some provinces, the months of April and May were full vacation.
Educational Decree of 1863 “The shorter vacation period shall extend from Christmas eve to Twelfth–night, during the three carnival days (the three days preceding Lent), and from Holy Wednesday until Easter. During said vacations, the resident scholars shall remain in the institution. The longer vacations shall last one and one-half months, and shall be during the time of the greatest heat. The resident scholars may pass to the bosom of their families for the period of the longer vacations. The scholars may go once a month to the house of their parents or guardian.”
Bureau of Public Instruction
Sixth Annual Report of the Director of Education (1906) “October is the best month for school attendance but the month of March is selected for statistics herein given as the last (month) of the school year….”
Education Act of 1940
stated that the academic school calendar “shall be so adjusted that the school vacations would coincide as much as possible with the working seasons of the peoples.”
May 8, 1963
The benefits of the “Roces Plan” 1. That by opening the schools in September, the country would have a healthier student population as borne out by statistics of the Department of Health and the Weather Bureau. Under the old schedule, school children had to go to school just when the rainy season was beginning. 2. The country would be more productive economically, as shown by statistics of the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources. The planting of rice and secondary crops such as corn took place mostly in June, July, and August. 3. In point of budgetary and accounting requirements, opening schools in September would be advantageous because it would simplify and facilitate the release of funds needed for the operation of classes in public schools.
June 22, 1964
It was more important to identify when schools would be closed for vacation than when classes should open Considerations for vacation months: economic activities, cultural practices, and comfort of the students in school