?Academic Calendar Shift: “Here we go! Paradigm Shift! ” Over the past two years, the Philippines, though still quite behind compared to other countries, has achieved major changes to the systems it envelops. One such change was the implementation of the long awaited Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013, or simply the K-12 educational system. This said system brought about new opportunities for the Filipino people as well as taking the country a step closer to a better economic status.

Now, with the adjustments currently taking place, the country’s lead educational agencies, namely the Department of Education (DepEd); the Commission of Higher Education (CHED); and the Technical Educational and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), decided to go the distance with the upcoming implementation of an academic calendar shift to be implemented on or before the expected deadline of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) on the year 2015.

This is to align our academic calendar to that of the various universities abroad as well as sparing the community from the typhoons that tend to bombard the country during those times. With the deadline drawing near, the implementation of the program should be taken up immediately for the betterment of the country. But are the Filipino people ready to adapt to the recent surge of changes that are about to come upon them?

The recent destruction caused by Typhoon Yolanda, as well as the problems caused by the controversial Pork Barrel Scam, left the Philippines struggling to maintain order amongst its people, And with the recent implementation of the K-12 system, adjusting to the changes may require more time. The top four universities of the country, namely Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU); De La Salle University (DLSU), the University of Santo Tomas (UST); and the University of the Philippines (UP), are willing to take up this paradigm shift in order to help in adjusting the country to these changes.

All four universities plan to take a step-by-step process with the implementation of this system, going little by little until the year 2015. However, if the implementation will take full effect as early as next year, consideration in the form of a one-time five-to six-month vacation will be given to both students and teachers to help them adjust to the big change. During this time, summer classes will be extended to be able to keep students intellectually capable over the course of the delay.

On top of that, teachers and professors will be attending seminars to orient them about the upcoming adjustments for the academic year. Not only does the academic shift spare educational agencies from disruption due to natural calamities, it also helps the students by giving them more opportunities to engage with other students from universities abroad. “Some events in universities in other ASEAN countries are usually held when the Philippine academic year is in full swing.

This change is to maximize what the students can do alongside students from foreign universities,” said Teresita G. Domalanta, Former DepEd director of the National Capital Region (NCR). However, other regions in the Philippines, especially those with a rural environment, may not be able to cope up with the set regulations of the system due to lack of exposure and proper training.

These regions are already adjusted to the current curriculum and academic calendar thus providing difficulty to swap paradigms in just a short notice. But nevertheless, with proper training and given enough time, these regions will soon be on par with the current educational structure of both the K-12 and the new academic calendar shift. The implementation of this academic calendar shift will lead the country towards the epitome of change planned for the decade: the AEC 2015.

With this, school disruptions plaguing the mid-months will cease, students will find more exposure to events and activities even outside the country, and finally, it will create a new era of freedom the country desperately looked for. Looking forward, this implementation will be the start of a new journey for the Filipino people as the economic status well improves for them. I, as a countryman of the Philippines, believe that the academic calendar shift be pushed through in the coming years for the betterment of the country. One Vision, One Identity, One Community.