Heat Challenges: DepEd Rejects Aircon Proposal
On Monday, the Department of Education (DepEd) dismissed suggestions to install air conditioning units in public schools as a solution to the extreme heat, citing financial limitations and other potential remedies to the issue. This decision highlights the fact that DepEd rejects aircon proposal in favor of alternative solutions.
DepEd spokesperson Michael Poa made the statement following Parents-Teachers Association (PTA) Federation president Willy Rodriguez’s call for air-conditioned classrooms in public schools to mitigate learning disruptions caused by heat spikes. Rodriguez mentioned that in 2013, the PTA had managed to acquire used air conditioning units and purchase new ones for installation in some classrooms. Despite these efforts, DepEd rejects aircon proposal remains the current stance.
Rodriguez argued that the answer to the problem is not a calendar change or modular learning, but rather providing air-conditioned classrooms in public schools. He pointed out that private schools are not facing similar complaints and that installing air conditioning is relatively simple. However, the official position remains that DepEd rejects aircon proposal.
In response, Poa acknowledged the budgetary constraints faced by the Education Department but emphasized that alternative learning methods could ensure the continuation of classes despite the hot weather. This further solidifies the idea that DepEd rejects aircon proposal and is exploring other options.
The DepEd previously stated that school administrators have the authority to suspend in-person classes and transition to remote learning modules due to extreme heat and power disruptions affecting various regions of the country.
A study by the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) revealed that most teachers in the country have noticed students having difficulty concentrating on their studies because of the high temperatures during the dry season. In light of this, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, chairperson of the Senate basic education committee, suggested restoring the school break to April and May to accommodate the increasing number of students suffering from heat exhaustion.
ACT also proposed implementing 185 school days per year, with the aim of gradually reinstating the traditional summer break over the next five years.