In Quezon City, 3-day school week was proven to work well
May we ask Valenzuela City Rep. Sherwin Gatchalian and Gabriela party-list Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan that before “slamming” the idea of a 3-day school week (“Lawmakers slam 3-day school week, double classroom shift,” News, 5/30/14), they first get and read copies of my documented reports to all education secretaries—from Br. Andrew Gonzalez on to Br. Armin Luistro—about the 3-day school week program that was undertaken in the early 1980s in Quirino High School, Project 3, Quezon City. In 2 years’ time, the school’s division rank, among 30 high schools, rose from No. 27 (before the program) to No. 7. The ranking was based on the results of annual academic tests and National College Entrance Examinations.
The parents’ cooperation contributed to the program’s success because their children did not have to go to school at 6 a.m. They went there at 7:30 a.m. and would leave for home at 5:30 p.m. There were three 20-minute breaks for R&R on the days the children were in school.
On their alternate days off, the school staff went around the business establishments in the vicinity to request that the students be admitted for OJT (on-the-job training), which allowed the latter to earn a little allowance that they could spend for their school-day “baon.” Thus, with the curriculum’s required number of hours per subject observed, the students get to hone their skills in practical arts during their days off. For example, those interested in furniture went to furniture shops and those who chose to specialize in automotive went to motor repair shops. Girls who chose the clothes trade went to dressmaking shops, and those inclined to the food business went to restaurants and cafeterias.
So in that 3-day school week program, our graduates not only got to learn theory but also to practice what they had learned in classrooms.
Who can argue against results?
Further proof of the program’s effectiveness? When the principal (me) was transferred to Novaliches High School in 1983, and the next principal went back to “triple classroom shift” (three classes held in a classroom on a regular school day), the school’s rank dropped to No. 29 that very year. The QC Division of City Schools office has records to prove this.
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