Students, teachers cope with extreme heat

Students, teachers cope with extreme heat
SunStar Local News GPX

AS CEBU continues to experience a heat wave with the heat index reaching up to 37 degrees Celsius, an extremely cautious level according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), parents, students and teachers have expressed concern about the well-being of everyone in school.

“I’m okay with suspending classes,” said Glonar Itol, a mother of three.

In an interview with SunStar Cebu, Itol said children who find it difficult to bear the intense heat especially those who suffer from illnesses should be excused from attending whole day face-to-face classes.

“It should really depend on the student because their conditions may vary,” Itol said in Cebuano.

Students, too, are struggling to keep up with the current weather and are adapting to heat safety guidelines implemented by the weather bureau, Pagasa, and local government units (LGUs).

Rabby Mosqueda, a student of Cebu Normal University (CNU) shared how he struggles with studying while trying to cope with the hot weather.

“Sometimes, I really have a hard time studying due to the heat and then, I have a headache which makes it difficult for me to concentrate in class,” Mosqueda said in Cebuano.

For Lawrence Barong, also a student of CNU, coping with the weather is made even more difficult because of his preexisting medical condition.

“I have high blood pressure even at a young age. So, I have to take maintenance medicines for it. The heat makes me even more prone to my illness,” said Barong who now has to bring drinking water and a towel wherever he goes, aside from taking his vitamins and regular maintenance medicines.

Given the recent weather conditions, the students favor class suspension for their “safety” without compromising their academic progress.

“I’m really in favor of suspending classes because the heat has gotten to be unbearable. I hope they decide to suspend face-to-face classes for all grade levels because all students, including those of us in college are affected,” Mosqueda said.

Over at the Abellana National School (ANS) in Cebu City, Nathanael Flores, the secondary school principal, has integrated measures on heat-related illnesses and prevention strategies into their school.

“Last week, we wrote a letter to Schools Division Superintendent Dr. (Nimfa) Bongo that we have a regulated modular delivery of learning. The students come to school for three days for face-to-face classes, but we also have two days where they are at home. They have to work at their own pace,” Flores explained in a mix of Cebuano and English.

Flores said because of the regulated modular delivery of learning, ANS classrooms are no longer very congested.

A Department of Education (DepEd) guideline says upon reaching a heat index of 42 degrees Celsius, principals are obliged to send their students home.

“The DepEd guideline is clear that if the heat index reaches 42 degrees Celsius or beyond, principals can declare a class suspension or if Pagasa projects that there is a possibility that the heat will go up to 42 degrees Celsius or higher the next day,” Flores explained.

Flores said there has yet been no report of ANS students suffering from any heat-related health issues. He said they have advised parents to refrain from sending their child to school if the student is starting to feel unwell.

Flores said the school’s facilities and equipment are inadequate to cope with the intense heat levels inside campus.

“I have to be very honest, public schools can’t afford to provide aircons in classrooms,” he said.

Meanwhile, Barry Dolloso, a teacher at the ANS said several students have become restless due to the heat.

“Students are seated uncomfortably due to hot weather. That’s actually what I noticed. I would know that they are not attentive enough anymore to the lessons in front because they are not feeling well, and they feel the humidity in the classroom,” said Dolloso. / JAY ADOBO AND JOSHUA USIGAN, BIPSU INTERNS


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