MANILA — The government is studying proposals to move back the start of school "summer break" to March but will have to consider pandemic and climate change factors, President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. said on Monday.
In an interview, Marcos was asked if he was in favor of adjusting the school break considering the heat exhaustion that some students recently experienced.
"Pinag-aaralan natin mabuti yan dahil nga maraming nagsasabi, tapos na ang lockdown, karamihan ng eskuwela ay face-to-face na. Kakaunti na ang hindi na," he told former Social Welfare Secretary Erwin Tulfo and broadcast journalist Nina Corpuz.
(We are studying that thoroughly because many are saying the lockdown is already over, most classes are face-to-face, only a few are not.)
He noted that COVID-19 cases spiked recently, while weather conditions have become unpredictable.
"Since hindi na tayo naka-lockdown, ibalik na natin siguro dati but kung kailan kasi ang gagawin ang actual na semester, kailan mag-uumpisa ang bakasyon ay hindi pa nade-decide dahil mayroon pa rin tayong mga cases na nakikita natin na [yung] COVID umaakyat naman 'yung replication rate, umaakyat naman," Marcos said.
(Since we are no longer on lockdown, perhaps we should bring back the old schedule, but we have yet to decide on the start of the actual semester and the vacation because we are still seeing an increase in COVID cases.)
"Binabagay natin iyan sa seasons, iyun ang naging problema kung ibabalik o hindi, dahil hindi masabi kung kailan mag-uumpisa ang ulan, kailan magiging mainit," he added.
"Yung global warming, climate change hindi na talaga biro. Kailangan natin gawin ang lahat para mabawasan ang epekto ng climate change para sa atin sa Pilipinas at sa buong mundo."
(We are also considering the seasons, because we cannot tell when the rainy season, the dry season would start. The effects of global warming, climate change are no joke. We need to minimize their effects of the Philippines and the whole world.)
The decision on this, he said, might be released "very soon" with the weather and pandemic factored in.
The Department of Education (DepEd) previously said it had no plans to move the school "summer break" to April and May despite the hot weather.
Education Spokesperson Michael Poa said that the school heads have the authority and discretion to suspend classes and use alternative delivery modes if the "environment is not conducive to learning"
Prior to the pandemic, the basic education school calendar began in June and ended in March.
The opening of classes of elementary and high school students was later moved to August to lessen students’ difficulty in going to classes during the typhoon season.
Video from Radyo Pilipinas