Department of Education

Central Visayas teachers union calls for modular classes amid increasing heat index

John Sitchon

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Central Visayas teachers union calls for modular classes amid increasing heat index

Additional electric fans are placed inside classrooms at the Rafael Palma Elementary School in Manila, to ease extreme heat experienced by students during summer months, on April 24, 2023. The Department of Education in its Memorandum No. 2023-077 said that heads of public and private schools have the authority to cancel in-person classes and implement modular distance learning or the safety of students and teachers. PAGASA also warned of hotter days ahead.


The Alliance of Concerned Teachers in Central Visayas requests the Department of Education to immediately implement modular classes because of the extreme heat in classrooms

CEBU, Philippines – The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) in Central Visayas on Monday, April 24, requested the Department of Education (DepEd) to immediately implement modular classes in the region because the extreme heat has made classrooms “non-conducive” for learning and teaching.

“This request is pursuant to the Department Order 037 s. 2022 titled ‘Guidelines on the Cancellation or Suspension of Classes and Work in Schools in the Event of Natural Disasters, Power Outages/Power Interruptions, and Other Calamities’ to proactively provide a temporary solution to the growing concerns of health-related problems and non-conducive learning and teaching environment because of the high heat index,” read the union’s official statement.

On Saturday, DepEd said that schools may shift to remote or modular learning during times of extreme heat, especially during the hot dry season.

It was only last August 2022 when universities and schools in the country returned to full face-to-face classes, following the relaxing of COVID-19 health protocols.

The ACT said that an “unnamed” DepEd Central Visayas official, who received their letter of request, gave an unsolicited comment to the teachers.

The DepEd official said “that the request for modular learning is impossible as the heat index in Region VII is not that high compared to other regions.”

ACT said that the threat of heat strokes, heat cramps, and heat exhaustion should not be taken lightly and should be addressed with utmost urgency.

DepEd Central Visayas Regional Director Salustiano Jimenez told Rappler in a phone interview on Tuesday, April 25, that they were willing to talk to the union regarding the issue. “We are also for the welfare of our teachers and students in the region,” Jimenez said.

According to the regional director, two schools from Tanjay City in Negros Oriental were already implementing alternative delivery modes (ADMs), which included hybrid and modular learning.

Jimenez said DepEd was consistently conducting surveillance on the heat index in Central Visayas and that schools can call off classes whenever the heat became unbearable.

“Even with Central Visayas Regional Athletic Association (CVIRAA), we will only be holding (sports activities) them not later than 10 am because of the heat,” Jimenez told Rappler.

The regional director added that he will be meeting with the Schools Division Superintendents of Central Visayas to discuss more on the matter of implementing hybrid/modular classes.

Recently, the Cebu City Council passed a resolution urging DepEd to shift to online classes during the summer.

The resolution, authored by Councilor Rey Gealon, cited PAGASA’s warning of intense heat levels in Central Visayas which could go up to 52 degrees Celsius. –

John Sitchon is an Aries Rufo Journalism Fellow. 

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