The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) urged at least all public universities and colleges to move their opening of classes to August starting the school year 2019 to 2020.
In a CHED memorandum issued April 5 and released to media on Monday, CHED Chairman Prospero de Vera III said the shift would ensure that schools’ academic calendars are aligned with the fiscal year. He also added that this will facilitate the easier processing of schools’ budgets as the government shifts to cash-based budgeting.
“All state universities and colleges (SUCs) and local universities and colleges (LUCs) are enjoined to synchronize its respective academic year to a fiscal year starting the fiscal year (FY) 2019,” De Vera said in the memo.
Usually, some SUCs and LUCs have their opening of classes usually scheduled in June or July.
In an interview, De Vera noted that the shift will “foster internationalization and linkages with top Philippine universities that already shifted their calendar.” It earlier proposed the change in the opening of classes after noting the commission may have difficulty with the shift to cash-based budgeting as the fiscal year and academic year are not aligned.
During CHED’s budget hearing at the House of Representatives in 2018, De Vera said that the cash-based budgeting only hinders the implementation of the free higher education law. He said that the validation processes and paperwork make it difficult for CHED to reimburse all schools by the end of the year, as some schools that open classes in June or July would start their second semester in November.
Meanwhile, De Vera said the August opening of classes is only a recommendation and not a requirement for schools.