In the struggle to keep up with the increasing competition in the workforce, students are always on the move to attain and expand unique skills and faculties. Pressured to master the technicalities embedded in their chosen courses of study, the students also strive to hone personal and social abilities, which often achieves outside schooling. Since the way to achieve holistic growth is to immerse oneself not only in classroom discussions but also in extracurricular involvements, universities in the Philippines have been searching for ways to give students ample time to manage both personal and professional challenges. The universities and colleges in the Philippines are slowly altering the customary five-day school week with the four-day school week. Some schools are De La Salle University, South Western University – Phinma, and Cebu Normal University. The University of San Jose Recoletos’ College of Education within the same university also adopted the shortened school week since 2017. In an interview with Mrs. Helmae Tapanan, chairperson of the College of Education, she expressed that the adaptation of the shortened school week has gained positive feedback from students and teachers. With this implementation as a benchmark, this study looks into the technical readiness of the Accountancy department to adopt such as scheme.
The eventual shift to a school week with four days necessitates research on the practices, examination of existing models, as well as the weighing of advantages and disadvantages (Donis-Keller and Silvernail, 2009). A lot of pieces of literature have been published related to impacts of the four-day school week. Extended weekends showed a more effective instruction time within the classrooms and the periods benefited preparation time, resulting while the other scheme, has resulted in more functional classes. In the traditional five-day school week, teachers observed more misspent time, while the four-day school week required them to deliver impact on instruction (Yarbrough & Gilman, 2006). Furthermore, it has designated high level behavior and interaction for students in learning regardless of the new schedule.
The usage of the added free day depends on the scheme of the school. Most universities, however, use the “free day” to conduct extracurricular activities. These activities “provide students with the opportunity to take part in social, physical, and intellectual skills, to advance a feeling of membership in community, to grow social networks with adults and peers, and to experience, overcome, and fail at challenges, all of which contribute to the maturation leading to adulthood” (Eccles, Barber, Stone, and Hunt, 2003). The time spent by students with their peers reflects a primary origin of positive involvements, with students describe as their happy moments (Spear, 2000). Therefore, extracurricular activities can also help students in other health-related problems. According to another study, mental health problems were highly prevalent among college students (Hunt, 2010). To cope up with this, it is essential that universities give students an avenue to relieve stress and be involved in projects of their choice.
With the increased figures of extracurricular activities adolescents partake, the students’ improved their skills on leadership, academics, and social (Mahoney et al., 2006). The scholastic aspect of students contributes to their health associated conducts (Amys, 2016). In another study, researchers have concluded that the involvement of adolescents in after-school activities develops against feelings of isolation and depression (Barber, Eccles, and Stone, 2011).
In implementing the four-day school week, considerations reflected upon what types of activities should occupy the given time. The parents and mentors may convey the free time as a means to structured activities (Siennick & Osgood, 2012). Although it is apparent that extracurricular activities give immense help to students, conducting them on school days cuts off time for lectures. A researcher concluded that teachers encountered as to reteach the topic or just let the materials pass by (Gullatt, 2006). For this, the four-day school week also gives way in separation of academic and extracurricular activities as the latter be scheduled on the Fridays (Feaster, 2002).
Moreover, a study showed that adolescence is a period in the physical and mental health demands sufficient rest (Amschler & McKenzie, 2005). Unfortunately, most college students don’t get enough sleep and rest because of school works and other personal engagements. Student’s spare time is another area where the shortened days may be of great help as it provides students with time to breathe and rejuvenate. The length and quality of sleep affect a person’s wellness while less sleep time increases levels of distress while lessen comprehension and scholastic results (Fuligni & Hardway, 2006).
Numerous researches conducted aimed to analyze the impacts. The main focus on existing studies is the response and results of monitoring after its adaptation. However, despite the gradual transition of the school week in prestigious universities, no study has been made delving into the planning process and the technicalities to consider beforehand.
The Exploration Stage is a critical starting point. In this stage, assessment of the organization’s readiness for implementation is done, and should the organization be not ready, help is given. Furthermore, the readiness in this stage includes the determination of resources the organization currently has for the implementation. The Installation Stage constitutes the acquisition of lacking resources and preparation of staff for the new practices. The third stage is the Initial Implementation which is the most fragile stage of all the phases. In this phase, the organization might encounter challenges and difficulties that might move the organization to retreat to the old ways. The final stage is the Full Implementation if 50% of practitioners are using the innovation with good outcomes as assessed through evaluation.
This study displays the Exploration Stage only as it solely focuses on ascertaining the technical readiness of the Accountancy Department for a four-day school week and therefore precedes the acquisition of resources and actual implementation. This study further examines the current resources of the Department and allows the lacking resources, if any, to surface. The researchers set up the parameters for the technical resources the shortened school week entails, and these particularly refer to the staff, facilities, and time constraints that would accommodate the given student population.