The Department of Education-Schools Division of Negros Occidental (DepEd-NegOcc) has limited outdoor activities among elementary and high school learners and teachers, amid hot weather conditions.
As of Tuesday, related guidelines have been issued by Schools Division Superintendent Anthony Liobet to schools and offices with general recommendations and emergency responses.
“The hot weather condition experienced in the country at present is normal and inevitable, although it is too severe possibly because of the global warming caused by climate change. Given this, all schools are directed to put in place the necessary precautions to minimize or mitigate the effects of the hot weather,” Liobet said in Division Memorandum No. 325, dated April 24.
In the directive, schools have been directed to monitor daily heat advisories through the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration website.
Schools have also been instructed not to conduct outdoor activities from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
They are also reminded to limit time spent outdoors, otherwise stay in a shaded area, and schedule strenuous activities during the start or end of the day, when the temperature is cooler.
When outdoors, the use of an umbrella as well as wearing of wide-brimmed hat, ultraviolet protective sunglasses and loose-fitting clothes are advised.
Teachers are told to check learners and colleagues regularly, especially those who are physically challenged and with chronic illnesses such as asthma and hypertension.
Schools are instructed as well to store enough ice to be used during emergencies and ensure the availability of emergency medicines.
On Monday, the DepEd Central Office said public schools are allowed to shift to alternative delivery modes (ADMs), such as online or modular, once classroom set-up is no longer ideal for learning amid the scorching heat.
“That’s why we are strongly reminding our school heads that if the learning environment is no longer conducive due to heat, they can suspend in-person classes and implement ADMs,” DepEd spokesperson Michael Poa said.*PNA