Senator Win Gatchalian urged principals and school heads anew to implement blended learning when the hot weather becomes too unbearable for learners.
The Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Basic Education reiterated this call following the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration’s (PAGASA) El Niño forecast upgrading the warning status from El Niño Watch to El Niño Alert. According to the state weather bureau, El Niño may emerge in the coming season, from June-July-August at 80% probability. The agency added it may persist until the first quarter of 2024.
“Ang pinaka-importanteng responsibilidad ng principals natin ay yung kapakanan o kalagayan ng ating mga estudyante. Kung nakikita nila na sobrang init o may bagyo o anumang hindi maganda sa kanilang lugar, pwedeng mag-cancel ng klase ang ating principals. Pwede rin sila ngayong mag-blended learning,” said Gatchalian.
The Department of Education (DepEd) previously reported that some schools are already implementing blended learning amid the extreme heat, where in-person classes are held during cooler hours but are supplemented by alternative learning delivery modes.
Under DepEd Order No. 037 s. 2022, modular distance learning, performance tasks, projects or make up classes shall be implemented in the event of canceled or suspended classes. This is to ensure that learning competencies and objectives are still met.
Gatchalian also proposed to revert to the old schedule of public schools’ summer vacation, which was held from April to May before School Year 2020-2021.
While the lawmaker acknowledges that reverting to the old school calendar schedule may take some time, he pointed to the advantages of restoring the former vacation schedule. Gatchalian emphasized how the old vacation schedule allows learners to spend time bonding with their families during the summer, a favorite time of the year for family gatherings.
Gatchalian also pointed out that elections are held during the month of May. Reverting to the old schedule of the summer break will allow for more seamless poll preparations since learners will be out of school, Gatchalian said.