The Gist


The Department of Education has revealed that it's examining the possibility of extending the school year and cutting down the summer break to allot more time for cancelled activities and lessons due to the pandemic. Teachers and students are pleading that they reconsider.

/ 23 February 2021

As we all know, we are very close to reaching the one-year anniversary of our community quarantine, brought about by the global Coronavirus outbreak. This means that for the better part of the year since lockdown, we as a society have been forced to find new ways to go about our daily lives. At the same time juggling the mental, physical, and emotional tests that isolation and an on-going health crisis have introduced.

One of the most heavily impacted sectors is undoubtedly the education division. Because of the pandemic and imposed community quarantine protocols, schools have had to shut down temporarily—migrating its whole curriculum to a digital one. The abrupt and unexpected turn of events have forced students and teachers to clamor for resources and tools just to get through the “New Normal” learning environment. Some have had to sell their most prized possessions to be able to afford a laptop for online classes, while others have had to go through incredible lengths just to get a decent Internet connection. And that was just when online classes were first implemented.

Since then, students and teachers have endured the challenges of remote learning alongside all the implications of being cooped up inside their homes for a whole year.

So when the Department of Education (DepEd) announced that it was considering to extend the school year to give schools more opportunities to make up for lost time, it’s understandable that it triggered such an intense negative reaction from both students and teachers. This is given the fact that extending the academic year would also effectively shorten summer break from 2 months, to a mere 2-week pause.


Students and teachers have been very vocal on social media since the news was revealed, voicing out their opinions about the matter, and imploring the DepEd to put the well-being of their community first. A general message of fatigue, burnout, and lack of motivation encompass the arguments presented by parties against the extension, with several people noting how all of these feelings create a less-than-ideal learning environment at home. This is even further proof that a break is much-needed for the whole academic community.

The Department of Education has yet to release a follow-up statement answering the country’s burning questions, and we hope that this means to be a good sign that officials are reconsidering this huge step. Given the current mental and physical condition of students and teachers who are desperately trying to fulfill the curriculum’s requirements, we hope the DepEd realizes the importance of giving them the rest and break they truly deserve. Moreover, how crucial this break will be to recharging and re-energizing students and faculty members to be able to learn more in the next academic year.