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4,000 schools suspend onsite classes due to heat – DepEd

MANILA, Philippines — Unbearable classroom conditions caused by extreme heat amid the intense dry season have forced the Department of Education (DepEd) to suspend onsite classes in nearly 4,000 schools across the country, affecting over 1.3 million learners.

The DepEd said the region with the most number of schools currently implementing the alternative delivery mode (ADM) as a result of extreme heat is Western Visayas with about 990 schools in the cities of Bacolod, Roxas, Kabangkalan, Silay, Himamaylan, Sipalay, San Carlos and Passi, as well as in the provinces of Iloilo and Guimaras.

About 331,911 students are currently staying at home in the region for ADM classes.

It is followed by Soccsksargen with about 801 schools in General Santos City, Koronadal City, Cotabato and South Cotabato suspending onsite classes yesterday.

Schools with the most number of affected learners are in the National Capital Region with 395,210 of them undergoing ADM after 183 schools in the cities of Caloocan, Malabon, Marikina, Navotas, Pasay and San Juan suspended classes yesterday.

In the regions of Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Mimaropa and Zamboanga Peninsula, a combined total of 976 schools have suspended onsite classes, affecting 626,828 learners.

Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas and Bicol Regions have a combined total of 1,004 schools currently suspending onsite classes. The number of affected students in the region has yet to be determined.

Only the regions of Northern Mindanao, Davao, Caraga and Cordillera have not suspended onsite classes.

Onsite class disruptions and the worsening conditions in classrooms amid the intense dry season have prompted teachers’ groups to call on the DepEd to expedite the transition to the old school calendar, which is expected to take full hold three school years from now.

Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) chairman Benjo Basas said the DepEd should end School Year (SY) 2024-2025 by mid-April 2025 instead of initial plans of ending it on the fourth week or in May.

“I hope the DepEd will also consider shortening the next school year (SY 2024-2025) and finish it by mid-April so that the transition will be faster. April and