Tell it to SunStar.
Tell it to SunStar.SunStar file photo

Tell it to SunStar: DepEd should address impact of extreme heat

By Teachers’ Dignity Coalition chairman Benjo Basas

We are urging the Department of Education (DepEd) to consider several measures to alleviate the extreme heat affecting teachers and learners as classes resume after the Holy Week break.

For the remaining months of the school year, kailangan talaga nating magtiis (we really have to endure), after all may commitment naman na ang DepEd sa (DepEd has committed to the) gradual revert to (the) old school calendar. Unfortunately, yang remaining months na yan, Abril at Mayo ang pinakamainit kaya kailangan pa rin nating mag-adjust para naman hindi masyadong mahirapan ang mga bata at mga guro natin gaya nung nakaraang taon (those remaining months, April and May are the hottest, so we still have to adjust so that our children and teachers don’t have too much trouble like last year).

There were instances of students falling ill due to extreme heat last year, leading to many teacher absences due to health concerns. We are proposing several adjustments to mitigate the impact of heat during school days.

Puwede namang i-shorten ang klase or magkaroon ng shifting para iwasan ang tirik ng araw, o payagang magsuot ng komportableng pananamit ang mga guro at bata (It is possible to shorten classes or have shifting classes to avoid the hottest time of the day, or allow teachers and children to wear comfortable clothes). Kapag hindi talaga kinaya at malalagay sa panganib ang kalusugan (When you really can’t handle it and your health will be at risk), that’s the time that we employ distance learning modalities.

We also reiterated the suspension of “Catch-Up Fridays” to prioritize learners’ academic needs, especially with potential reductions in class hours and the previously approved reduction of school days.

We are suggesting that DepEd should expedite the transition to the old school calendar by ending the 2024-2025 school year by mid-April 2025 to facilitate a faster transition.

Yung Abril at Mayo kasi ang iniiwasan natin eh (We are trying to avoid having classes in April and May). Sa plano ng DepEd baka umabot pa ng dalawa o tatlong taon na may klase tayo ng Abril o Mayo (But based on DepEd’s plans, there might be two or three more years when there are classes in April and May).

DepEd previously issued DepEd Order 3, s. 2024 on Feb. 19, adjusting the end of the current school year from June 15 to May 31, 2024. The same order also set the opening and closing dates for School Year 2024-2025 as July 29, 2024 and May 16, 2025, respectively.

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