ONE OF the ironies here in the Philippines is that we seek for change, but when it comes, we refuse it.

So when government tries to reform the basic education system, so-called technocrats argued that K to 12 would be detrimental to higher education.

But what is needed is to give K to 12 a chance.

Critics, particularly those militant groups, were quick to make noise and voice their opposition against K to 12 when it was first proposed albeit their lack of understanding. As far as they are concerned, more years = more burden. Well, there is no use arguing with that logic.

But now, K to 12 is good to go.

Meanwhile, when the news about the planned revision of the University’s academic calendar broke out, many were aghast.

The University’s move is in line with its thrust to align its school calendar with that of universities abroad.

The move is part of the Asean Integration, or Asean 2015, which seeks to integrate or synchronize the regional economies.

This means that from the conventional June-March cycle, the academic year will run from September-June, coinciding with the typhoon season.

Education Secretary Armin Luistro, himself a former higher education institution president, has expressed disapproval of the matter. But there should be no turning back.

The change should come because the Philippines is lagging behind its neighboring countries.

Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei have been observing the August-September to May cycle even before Asean 2015 came into picture. Thailand has just moved its school opening to August.

Critics would say that the Philippines need not be like other countries. Such mentality is one of the reasons why the country is so poor. Are they saying that Philippines should be sui generis—a poor class of its own?

READ
Faculty Union hits DepEd over implementing rules of K to 12

Filipinos hoping to study abroad will benefit from the change in the academic calendar. They can enjoy easier and smoother student mobility with top universities not only in the Asean, but elsewhere in the world.

Academic Affairs Vice Rector Clarita Carillo said in a previous article: “An academic calendar that is synchronized with international universities will allow greater efficiency in implementing student and faculty exchange programs.”

It is also a logical move as students will no longer endure the floods that come with the monsoon rains and typhoons that characterize June and July. It will also be an opportunity for the University to be a part of the Asean University Network, a consortium of schools fostering academic exchanges across the region.

Other universities in the Philippines such as UP, Ateneo, and La Salle have also thought of revising their academic calendars. Like UST, these schools have delicately weighed the pros and cons of the move. And it seems that there is a consensus among the four for even without them consulting each other, they have made initial moves to revise their calendars. After all, these four are the standard bearers of Philippine tertiary education.

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