Why Students Should Not Be Forced to Attend Classes in Extreme Heat

Why Students Should Not Be Forced to Attend Classes in Extreme Heat

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian voiced concerns over the safety of students attending school amidst the rising temperatures across the country. He emphasized that exposing students to the severe heat index, which has reached alarming levels in some parts of the Philippines, is not beneficial for their health. In areas where the heat index has soared between 44 to 45ºC, insisting on physical attendance in schools could be harmful.

Senator Gatchalian highlighted the flexibility educators have to shift towards blended learning methods. “Our teachers have the flexibility to engage in blended learning,” he reminded educators, urging them not to force students into potentially dangerous situations, especially in regions like Cagayan where the heat index has been exceptionally high.

Read: List of Schools with Classes Suspended Due to Extreme Heat

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) has recorded the heat index reaching dangerously high levels of 42ºC to 51ºC, which is considered “dangerous” for everyone, possibly leading to heat cramps and heat exhaustion.

Comparing the situation to human body temperature, which is around 37ºC when one has a fever, Gatchalian pointed out that students are experiencing temperatures far exceeding normal fever levels. “A fever is 37ºC. So, what the children are feeling is 44-45ºC, way above fever temperatures, so let’s not push it because they might get dehydrated. There have been many cases of children collapsing due to extreme heat,” explained Gatchalian.

Senator Sherwin ‘Win’ Gatchalian, who serves as the chair of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts, and Culture, stresses the importance of prioritizing the well-being of students during this perilous time.

Moreover, the state weather bureau announced on March 22 the onset of the hot and dry season in the country, reminding everyone that this could be one of the hottest dry seasons recorded due to the ongoing effects of the El Niño phenomenon.

As the temperatures continue to rise, it’s vital to consider the health and safety of students, possibly adapting to alternative learning methods during these extreme conditions.