Class Suspensions Due To Extreme Heat: How To Cope With Changing Times

These past weeks, schools have announced frequent class suspensions

Educational institutions were given the prerogative to declare class suspensions due to extreme heat and this could affect how the system currently works.

Years ago, suspending the classes was attributed to heavy rain and typhoons or certain natural calamities like earthquakes, volcano eruptions, and such. However, this year, classes have been suspended due to the unbearable heat of the sun.

With this, the Department of Education (DepEd) has given school heads the power to decide whether to suspend face-to-face classes and this was through the Department Order 37 issued in 2022 if cases of extreme heat happen or other calamities that could be dangerous for the students.

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This order is beneficial for the safety and welfare of the students. Some schools opted to do online classes. However, this cannot be the case for many public schools in the country. It is a known fact that not every household has access to the internet.

Online connectivity is still limited and not all families can afford this kind of setup for the education of their children.

Students were told not to go to school and just stay at home to be spared from the effects of the extreme heat. However, how the schools and the teachers be sure that the students just stay at home and not roam around and they can still be under the heat of the sun? A teacher expressed concern after seeing students biking under the scorching heat of the sun after the class was suspended.

Some schools opted to give homework, activities, and projects to students while the classes were being suspended. This can somehow help them to continue learning and doing school activities while they are at home.

The times are changing. The earth, the environment, and the situation are not the same as years or decades ago. We must adapt to these changes. The system, the people, and the approach to these changes and problems should also evolve. Hopefully, the government, the education department specifically, should not have just band-aid solutions for this situation.

Long-term plans, sustainable and realistic ones, should be implemented. Most likely, this kind of situation or problem will still be a situation or problem in the coming years. So, what are we doing to cope with this?

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