Shorter class hours and online learning can mitigate hot weather impact on schools — teachers’ group
MANILA, Philippines — A teacher’s group said that shorter class hours and online learning can help alleviate the impact of the record-breaking high temperatures on students and teachers.
According to a Department of Education (DepEd) memorandum posted by the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC), school heads have the authority to suspend classes due to unfavorable weather conditions and implement modular distance learning to make up for the suspensions.
“It will take at least four years to gradually return to the old school calendar where the months of April and May are designated as school breaks, for now, shortened teaching time and modular and online learning methods can be used to minimize the impact of extremely hot weather,” said Benjo Basas, National Chairperson of TDC, in a statement.
The TDC urged DepEd to transition back into the old school calendar properly, as changing the calendar immediately would risk the teacher’s right to a two-month school break. Basas also said that other strategies can also be implemented by school heads.
“A more strategic approach is needed, for example, a lower class size of no more than 25 students, more stable classrooms designed for student comfort and provision of electric fans or even air-conditioning system. Certainly, we will need funds and policies to implement such,” said Basas.
The DepEd had already been urged to change the school calendar to avoid the high temperatures.
The TDC cited incidents of student fainting in Laguna due to the high heat.
“We need to fix it and make sure that the welfare of our teachers is taken into account before implementing the return to the old school calendar,” said Basas.
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