Intense heat causes cancellation of face-to-face classes in Iloilo

ILOILO CITY (PIA6) — With the heat index reaching a dangerous level (42 to 51 degrees Celsius), schools in Iloilo City and the province have decided to cancel their face-to-face classes and proceed with modular and online learning, noting that the safety of the public should be the top priority.

In Iloilo City, Mayor Jerry P. Trenas recently issued Executive Orders No. 047 – 2024 that he amended for the following days, declaring the suspension of classes in the city starting last April 1 up to 11, 2024, after the Department of Science and Technology -Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (DOST-PAG-ASA) forecasted a heat index categorized as extreme caution (33 to 41 degrees Celsius) to dangerous level (42 to 51 degrees Celsius) in the metro.

“In the event that in the succeeding days, the forecasted heat index in Iloilo City is 40 degrees Celsius or above, face-to-face classes will continue to be suspended. Resumption of face-to-face classes will proceed once the heat index is below 40,” part of EO No. 047 read.

A teacher from Montes 1 Elementary School in Iloilo City conducts online class to her students as in-person classes are suspended. Photo from City Mayor's Office

In a press conference recently, Treñas said they might extend the cancellation of face-to-face classes from pre-school to senior high school, both in public and private schools, depending on the heat index forecast.

The mayor stressed that the health of students must be prioritized first, noting that most of the classrooms, particularly in public schools, are not well-ventilated.

He also asked school heads to implement appropriate measures to ensure the health and safety of students and school personnel, which include the implementation of modular and online learning.

Meanwhile, in Iloilo province, 35 schools in Dumangas town canceled their face-to-face classes from April 1 to 2, 2024.

The local government unit of Calinog also announced the cancellation of in-person classes from pre-school to senior high school starting April 2 to 5, 2024.

Department of Education (DepEd)-6 information officer Hernani Escullar Jr. said that the shift to alternative learning modes serves as a proactive measure, noting the need to prioritize the health and safety of students and staff.

The DepEd-6 also noted that schools are prepared for the switch of learning modalities, stressing that the number of school days would still be unchanged, as distance learning counts as part of the academic calendar.

There are also no heat-related health incidents among students and personnel reported since the start of the year, according to Escullar. (AAL/JNH/PIA Iloilo)

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