PH Schools Return to Modular Distance Learning Over Extreme Temperature

Extreme heat brought by the El Niño phenomenon prompts PH Department of Education to order schools to shift to modular distance learning.

El Niño, which means “little boy” in Spanish, starts to wreak havoc, taking a toll on the people’s health and the country’s economy because of the extreme temperature. This is also the main reason why schools in the Philippines are getting back to modular distance learning.

Due to the extreme temperature that El Niño brings, the Philippines’ Department of Education (DepEd) is considering resuming modular learning to protect students and school personnel. It notified heads of public and private schools in the country that are authorized to suspend or cancel face-to-face classes and rather execute modular distance learning during summer months with extreme temperatures.

In fact, the Department of Education Pangasinan II Schools Division has recurred to modular distance learning from April 24 to 29. On Monday, (April 24), the province’s index heat reached 43 degrees Celsius.

“The summer heat has been bringing inconveniences and risks to both the learners and the teachers the past weeks and with the affirmation of the weather bureau that warmer temperatures are expected as the warm and dry season begins, there is a felt need to protect the well-being of the learners and the teachers from the extremely high temperatures,” said Schools Division Superintendent Lorna Bugayong.

She added that the application of the new learning system was according to DepEd’s Order 037. It provides the implementation of modular distance learning for canceled or suspended classes because of calamities, natural disasters, and human-effected hazards to assure continuous learning to meet learning capacities and objectives. Private schools, on the other hand, were stipulated to wield their discretion regarding the order.

Team to Assuage Consequences of the El Niño Phenomenon

To counter the harsh effects brought about by the El Niño phenomenon, the Philippine government formed a team that will help minimize its impact on the country.  The team consists of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the Department of Health (DOH), the National Water Resources Board (NWRB), and Local Government with the Department of Agriculture (DA) among others.

“There are several points that we need to address. We need to prepare for the possible worst-case scenario and identify and harmonize short-term solutions, medium-term, and long-term solutions,” said NDRRMC Executive Director and Civil Defense Administrator Undersecretary Ariel Nepomuceno.

PAGASA reports that the country may feel the phenomenon from June to August of this year. Additionally, its intensity might increase toward the first quarter of 2024. Based on the El Niño forecast, Bataan, Cavite, and Ilocos Norte have been already experiencing below-normal rainfall conditions.

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