State colleges and universities in Region I have followed suit and will now begin their academic year 2016-2017 in August after the Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges (PASUC) approved the shift.
“Members of the PASUC in Region I during our March 3 meeting unanimously approved that we shift the start of classes by August 8,” lawyer Benjamin P. Sapitula, Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University President in La Union, said.
The state colleges adopting the shift are Mariano Marcos State University in Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur Polytechnic State Colleges, North Luzon Philippines State Colleges in Candon City, University of Northern Philippine in Vigan City, and DMMMSU.
Earlier, Pangasinan State University have already shifted their academic calendar to August last year.
In the new calendar, the first semester would be from August to December while the second semester will be from January to May.
“We have still to wait for them to submit the approved decision from their respective Board of Regents,” Danilo Bose, Education Supervisor II of CHED-I, said.
“Two years ago in the PASUC National level, there was a motion that all the state universities and college nationwide will altogether shift their academic calendars to August but it was only now in the region that as one we decided to move the start of classes,” Sapitula, Pasuc chairman, added.
In a meeting of the University administrative council on February 29, members approved the proposal before it was presented to the PASUC meeting.
“We have been discussing it with the members of the academic community in DMMMSU for the past six months and I believe it is also timely because of the implementation of the K to12 basic education curriculum,” he added.
In La Union, LORMA Colleges have likewise shifted their academic calendar to August which took effect school year 2015-2016.
Meanwhile,some student groups in Vigan Ctty have expressed dismay over the decision of the PASUC Region 1.
Student Renza Kang of the Kabataan Partylist said that the PASUC decision was made without considering the financial woes of the local farmers, whose sons and daughters are mostly studying in the state colleges in the region.
“By the start of August, katatapos lang ng Ani, so in terms of financial capabilities mahihirapn sila sa tuition fees ng mga anak nila,” Kang said.
He said that they were consulting some students groups in the Region before they will conduct protests actions against the PASUC decision before or during the opening of classes. (Joanna D. Sabado/PIA-1, La Union with report from tsg)