Scorching Heat Forces Thousands of Philippine Schools to Suspend In-Person Classes

Amid soaring temperatures and scorching heatwaves, thousands of schools across the Philippines have halted in-person classes, impacting millions of students, as the country grapples with dangerously high temperatures.

The Philippine Department of Education revealed that a staggering 5,288 schools opted to suspend face-to-face learning on April 5, affecting over 3.6 million students. This decision comes amidst the sweltering heatwave sweeping through the tropical nation, exacerbated by the El Nino weather phenomenon, with March, April, and May traditionally being the hottest and driest months.

Many schools, lacking adequate air conditioning and ventilation, have become unbearable for students, leading to exhaustion and discomfort. Teachers, like Ms. Mayette Paulino, attest to the adverse impact of the heat on students’ concentration and well-being.

Recognizing the severity of the situation, the education department has empowered school authorities to transition to remote learning during extreme weather conditions. Some schools have resorted to reducing class hours to mitigate the effects of the scorching heat.

Parents, like Bheapril Balbin, support the decision to suspend in-person classes, citing concerns over their children’s health and well-being amidst the oppressive heat. Reports indicate cases of heat-related illnesses among students, underscoring the urgent need for protective measures.

The state weather forecaster warns of further heatwaves in the coming weeks, with temperatures expected to rise to dangerous levels across the country. Save The Children Philippines chief Alberto Muyot emphasizes the detrimental impact of extreme heat on children’s health and academic performance, highlighting the urgent need for measures to safeguard their well-being during these challenging times.