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Several onsite classes suspended due to heat

MANILA, Philippines — Several cities and municipalities nationwide yesterday canceled on-site classes either in all levels or only from pre-school to senior high school due to unbearable classroom conditions brought about by extreme heat, according to the Department of Education (DepEd).

In Luzon, Dagupan City suspended all on-site classes in public schools from April 1 to 4.

The DepEd Western Visayas said 246 public schools in the region have shifted to alternative learning mode due to harsh conditions in classrooms, according to a report by the Philippine News Agency.

The education department also reported that on-site classes were suspended in Pagadian City Pilot School and Buenavista Integrated School, both in the Zamboanga peninsula.

In Central Mindanao, the municipalities of Banga and Tantangan suspended on-site classes.

In Negros Occidental, at least 10 cities and municipalities have suspended on-site classes at all levels in private and public schools.

The cities of Iloilo, Bacolod and Roxas in Capiz and the municipalities of Tantangan in South Cotabato and Dumangas in Iloilo province have also suspended on-site classes either at all levels or only in pre-school to senior high school.

DepEd Assistant Secretary Francis Bringas said only the “in-person class modality is suspended” and that schools may still hold classes under the alternative delivery mode.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) has warned that the heat index in some areas in the country may reach “danger levels,” under which conditions heat cramps and heat exhaustion are likely to occur, with heat stroke probable with continued exposure.

Various groups earlier called for the return to the old school calendar of June to March, citing the heat experienced by students in March and April.

Even lawmakers sought to intervene by filing proposals to shift to the old calendar, stressing that the current school calendar running from August to June is inappropriate in the country.

The DepEd is currently implementing measures to return to the old school calendar, but the transition would only fully take hold four school years from now.

Twelve local