Heatwave forces schools to cancel classes

Heatwave forces schools to cancel classes
File photo

THE increasing heat index in the country has forced over 4,000 schools and some government offices to suspend classes and work to cope up with the changing global weather pattern.

In the Eastern Visayas region alone, a total of 1,161 classes and 31,054 learners were affected by the heatwave, as of April 5, 2024.

“The health of our learners is one of our top priorities. We also don’t want them to be affected especially with the very hot temperature we are experiencing now,” said Jasmin Calzita, information officer of the Department of Education (DepEd) in Eastern Visayas.

Calzita reminded the school leaders of Deped Order 37, s. 2022, saying the school heads “can immediately shift to alternative delivery modes in case the temperature is no longer favorable for learning.”

From the in-person learning, the students can shift to distance Learning, online distance learning, and modular distance learning, Calzita said.

Meanwhile, the Teachers' Dignity Coalition (TDC) has urged DepEd “to consider several measures to alleviate the extreme heat affecting teachers and learners as classes resume today after the Holy Week break.”

The teachers’ group proposed several adjustments to mitigate the impact of heat during school days, including allowing students to wear clothes that are comfortable during the hot season instead of school uniforms alone.

Benjo Basas, TDC leader, also called on the suspension of “Catch-Up Fridays remedial reading sessions” to prioritize learners' academic needs, especially with potential reductions in class hours and the previously approved reduction of school days.

“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,” Basas said in a statement on April 3.

DepEd previously issued DepEd Order 3, s. 2024 on February 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 the school yea 2024-2025 as July 29, 2024, and May 16, 2025, respectively, the TDC reported. (Ronald O. Reyes/SunStar Philippines)


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