The Department of Education (DepEd) has reported that 2,179 of the 4,048 public schools in Western Visayas have shifted to alternative delivery modes (ADM) of learning as a precautionary measure against the effects of hot weather. ‘Modular distance learning is allowed under DepEd Order No. 37, series of 2022 in cases of unfavorable weather and environment, such as but not limited to extremely high temperatures, which could considerably affect classroom learning and put learners’ health and well-being at risk,’ said Hernani Escullar Jr., the department’s regional information officer for Western Visayas, said in an interview on Thursday. Escullar added that 441 schools are into modular distance learning, 138 adopted online distance learning, and 1,600 shifted into blended learning or a combination of distance and in-person classes as of May 11. The rest of the public schools continue with in-person classes as there is no information from their end that they have shifted to ADM, he said. He, however, said the data is good only until May 11 because there are areas where the weather has improved or are no longer experiencing high temperatures. ‘Our divisions conduct an assessment almost every week. There are areas where the temperature has improved but there are classrooms that are still not conducive to learning,’ he added. A heat index of 45 degrees Celsius was forecast in Roxas City in Capiz and Iloilo City on Thursday by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA). It will peak at 46 degrees Celsius in Iloilo City but will stay at 45 degrees Celsius in Roxas City on May 19 based on PAGASA’s two-day forecast. Heat indices between 42 degrees Celsius and 51 degrees Celsius are classified as dangerous by the state weather agency where heat cramps and exhaustion are most likely and heat stroke is possible with continued exposure. Meanwhile, the early registration continues in the region with 68,748 Kindergarten, Grades 1, 7, and 11 registrants as of 9 a.m. on Thursday. ‘The other grade levels are considered as pre-registered so they don’t have to undergo the process,’ Escullar said, adding that they hope to surpass the 368,000 early registrants last school year and for those who dropped out to resume school. The turnout of the early registration that will end on June 9 will guide the department with the necessary preparations for the opening of the next school year.
Source: Philippines News Agency