By Wilnard Bacelonia

NO IN-PERSON CLASSES. In-person classes are suspended at the Pinyahan Elementary School in Diliman, Quezon City on April 2, 2024 due to extreme heat conditions. The Senate Committee on Basic Education will start discussions on the impacts of extreme heat and the shift to alternative delivery modes in the conduct of classes on April 30, 2024. (PNA photo by Joan Bondoc)

MANILA – The Senate Committee on Basic Education will be looking for “balanced” solution as it sets to start discussions on the impacts of extreme heat and the shift to alternative delivery modes (ADMs) in the conduct of classes.

The public hearing will be conducted on April 30 amid the backdrop of in-person classes being suspended due to extreme heat, and the implementation of blended learning, modular distance learning and other ADMs.

In a statement, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said the hearing will seek to identify the regions which were seen to have the highest adoption of ADMs among students, and what specific challenges each has experienced.

“We will also explore the regional adoption of ADMs in education; the impact of climate change on educational disparities; interventions for preventing heat-related health issues; and the current ADMs employed by the Department of Education (DepEd) and their accessibility, effectiveness, and inclusivity; the effects of ADMs on various stakeholders,” Gatchalian, the Basic Education panel chairperson, said.

He said the timeline for resuming face-to-face classes will also be discussed.

Gatchalian said comprehensive discussions on ADMs are necessary as they pose different sets of challenges, including the lack of internet access in some households, and the difficulties hounding parents in supporting their children in a remote learning setup.

May mga magulang na hindi masyadong sang-ayon sa online or blended learning dahil hindi natututo ang kanilang anak at mismong mga magulang din ang sumasagot sa mga textbook o workbook nila (There are parents who do not quite agree to online or blended learning because their children are not learning, and the parents tend to answer their textbooks or workbooks),” he said.

Gayunpaman, maraming mga [eskwelahan] nag-suspend ng klase nitong mga nakaraang araw dahil sa sobrang init ng panahon. Ang lahat ng ‘yan ay babalansehin natin (Still, several schools suspended classes these past few days due to extreme heat. We will balance all of these),” he added.

Invited to the public hearing are Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Z. Duterte, Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) Minister of Basic, Higher and Technical Education Mohagher Iqbal, Health Secretary Teodoro Herbosa, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council Executive Director Undersecretary Ariel Nepumoceno, and Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) chief Nathaniel Servando.

Representatives from various basic education stakeholders are also expected to attend. (PNA)