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Still About The Heat

This is very good; but maybe they could have released the announcement earlier. Maybe, they could have done it on the Thursday or Friday the week before so the teachers could have prepared for distance learning.

Finally, authorities have admitted with a directive encompassing all public schools across the entire nation that this intense heat is seriously dangerous at a national level, and not relative to location and specific environs of a school, that suspension of in-person classes has to be left to school heads. There was a claim that a very small percentage of schools have implemented distance learning opposite the thousands of schools that retained face-to-face classes; seemingly implying that this heat is issue is overblown out of proportion and the great majority is just doing fine under the tortures of the tropical sun. (Yes, this is my fifth article in a row about the heat. Please bear with me.) The children need this. It is nice that classes in many public schools were cut to half-day, on the morning only. But in that schedule, the kids go home, walking, riding a pedicab, tricycle or jeepney, or even a private vehicle with air conditioning at high noon to face the very perils that they are being prevented from suffering. Is it not ironically ridiculous? Class schedule is supposedly cut to keep the children safe from the heat, yet by doing so, they are led to the very danger that they are purposely kept safe from. Even if the schedule were inverted to the afternoon, they would still have to make the commute in the opposite direction going through the same health threatening heat. Has anyone considered a 4 to 9 pm class schedule? So, inevitably, if we really want to keep them safe, they really had to stay home. But, Camarines Sur pupils and students have gotten their head start for a couple of weeks already. That’s good for them.

I’m just wondering. Why do they have a habit of releasing national advisories on Sunday afternoon? Who are still working on Sundays? They’re not nurses or cops, are they? You know, rest is as much a component of good health as safety from high temperature is. Have they not decided on the suspension last Friday? Have they been deliberating on it the whole weekend and only reached a consensus on Sunday over lunch, and was only able to release the advisory on the afternoon of that day? How hard of a decision was that to make?

On given days, learning would be asynchronous. That would have to be modular or online. But how could the teacher do that if she or he receives the information on a Sunday afternoon. There is a good chance that she or he could have known of it on the evening, since a family day-out would be understandable. So, how could modules or links for online class be prepared on that time? So, that asynchronous class would actually turn out to be a class on paper only. Don’t go on blaming the teacher. How could modules or online classes be prepared in that span of time? Had they released the advisory on Thursday, there would have been a fair amount of time to distribute learning sheets or schedule google meet classes. This is not about a typhoon that grew from a low pressure area over the weekend. Come on, we have been well aware of the dangerous heat index for weeks now. We have been warned. I just don’t understand why many people including those in authority choose to disregard or deny it. Well, that should not come as any surprise. Something like that happened during the start of the pandemic.

There’s one thing more. We had a national suspension of face-to-face classes on April 8. It was a good thing we had holidays on the 9th and 10th. Classes resumed after that. Then, there was another suspension on the 15th and 16th, then another one on the 29th and 30th. I don’t get it. Do we get higher heat indices on Mondays? Are intermittent suspensions better for health? Or maybe, some officials just can’t make their minds up.

While the greater majority of school children get to stay home (or go to the mall or swimming in some resort), some of their classmates sweat it out in Albay in the Palarong Bicol. I’m already swelteringly sweaty just standing still. How much more would it be for athletes who would be running and jumping about? I believe, the least we could do is provide them with the proper nutrition that they adequately need. What’s for breakfast and lunch, athletes? What did your mayors send for you?

Isaiah 1:10: “Woe to those who decree iniquitous decrees, and the writers who keep writing oppression.”


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