Announcing the suspension of classes-A A +A
Monday, June 16, 2014
WITH the onset of the rainy season almost coinciding with the start of classes, students, young and old alike cannot help but to experience the hassles of waking up early, eating breakfast, preparing for school and actually reaching the campus and only to be told that classes have been suspended due to inclement weather.
With the announcement, many students have the problem of where to go or what to do next after classes have been called off. Many wouldn’t go home but rather go to the malls or to a classmate’s residence and enjoy momentarily a day’s vacation.
Parents, who have given their children’s baon for the day wouldn’t get the refund too despite the fact that there is the suspension of classes.
Students who have already worn their uniforms wouldn’t use the same for the next day in case classes resume. The food they bring wouldn’t be reserved for the next day too since they are already bringing it and would be eaten on the day of the suspension of classes.
The scenario would have been avoided if only the suspension of classes was announced early or before schoolchildren have prepared for the school day or have left their homes for school.
While the purpose of suspending classes is good, its being announced late is not good on the other hand as students may loiter around instead of going straight at home or may experience bad weather while on their way to school or at their respective dwellings.
When I was a still a student, I have experienced such and it brought my mother the worry of his son supposedly going to school and not going home straight when there is the suspension of classes.
Further, there is this confusion being experienced too by parents and their children-students on the announcement of the suspension of classes because of too many entities that announced it. Some schools then would announce the suspension of classes while the then Department of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS) would not.
There are times too that local government units would suspend classes and the schools wouldn’t yield to the announcement while waiting for an official advisory from the DECS.
There are also these instances when the Philippine weather bureau, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) would also announce the suspension of classes before the education department or the local government unit concerned would.
The confusion was somehow abated when on January of 2012, the President has signed Executive Order No. 66 that gives the responsibility of declaring the suspension of classes to local government units during heavy rains, floods and typhoons.
Recently, the Department of Education (DepEd) has reminded local government officials to announce the suspension of classes during bad weather as early as 5 a.m. and reminded them their responsibility for the announcement of the calling-off of classes.
DepEd Assistant Secretary Tonisito Umali said students and their parents should not wait for official announcements from their agency and the Commission on Higher Education on the suspension of classes.
Classes in the pre-school level are automatically suspended when Signal No. 1 is raised by PAGASA. Elementary and secondary levels are automatically suspended in areas where Signal No. 2 is raised while classes in pre-school, elementary, secondary and tertiary levels, including graduate school as well as work in all government offices shall be automatically canceled when Signal No. 3 is raised.
The department likewise urged communities to prioritize disaster preparedness for the safety of students especially during rainy season.
The announcement of classes is meant to provide safety and convenience to students who are about to go to their respective schools during a weather disturbance. Local governments meanwhile should be the firsts in announcing the suspension of classes since they are the proper authority to do so being familiar with their localities, terrains, their highly vulnerable areas and the weather conditions in their territories.
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Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on June 17, 2014.