Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Senator Backs Academic Calendar Switch Amid Extreme Heat


Senator Backs Academic Calendar Switch Amid Extreme Heat


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Senator Francis Tolentino on Wednesday expressed his support for the proposal to change the academic calendar due to the extreme heat that both the learners and teachers have been experiencing these past weeks.

Tolentino also underscored the importance of parental discretion in deciding whether students should attend school.

During his regular radio program on DWIZ, Tolentino asked Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Renato Solidum Jr. if the current heat index trends would persist into the following year.

“Kasi nagpaplano na po tayo for 2025. Yung plano natin for 2025 ay based on existing conditions. So, tama po kaya yun na ganon na talaga ang plano natin (Because we are already planning for 2025. Our plan for 2025 is based on existing conditions. So, is that right)?” Tolentino asked.

“Baguhin na talaga siguro hindi lang yung school calendar, pati na rin yung mga personal na pangangailangan ng mga iba’t ibang mga negosyante, baka i-adjust na rin nila (Maybe not only the school calendar should be changed, but also the personal needs of the various businessmen, maybe they will adjust as well),” he suggested.

Solidum could not confirm if the extreme heat index that many areas have been experiencing these past weeks would continue next year as the country is about to face La Niña.

“Titingnan natin kasi syempre magta-transition na tayo sa La Niña at ang porsyento ng posibilidad na magkaka-La Niña is 60 percent by June or July. So kung matutuloy yan, baka last quarter ng 2024 and first quarter ng 2025 ay may pag-ulan pa tayo (We will see because of course we will transition to La Niña and the percentage of the possibility of La Niña is 60 percent by June or July. So if that continues, maybe in the last quarter of 2024 and first quarter of 2025, we will have more rain),” Solidum said.

The DOST chief also agreed that learners, especially those in basic education, are more exposed to hot weather.

Solidum said most school structure designs are prone to extreme heat and need to undergo modification.

“Kung walang aircon, dapat may heat insulator para hindi masyadong mainit yung loob ng mga eskwelahan (If there is no air conditioner, there should be a heat insulator so that the inside of the schools is not too hot),” he suggested.

Tolentino added educational institutions should also provide learners with alternative learning solutions.

Both Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri and Senator Sherwin Gatchalian earlier urged the Department of Education to implement the change in the academic calendar as soon as possible because of the continuing hot weather. (PNA)

Photo credit: Facebook/DepartmentOfEducation.PH

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