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Gatchalian: Time to bring back April, May summer vacation for students

It’s high time the April–May summer vacation is brought back, Senate basic education committee chairman Sherwin Gatchalian said.

“Kailangan ibalik 'yan sa dati… It’s time to bring it back, especially now that it's normal already,” Gatchalian said in a press conference Tuesday.

The lawmaker issued the remark in light of the recent incident in Cabuyao City, Laguna where more than 100 students were taken to a hospital during a surprise fire drill after some students passed out due to hunger and dehydration.

On the day of the drill, the heat index in the city hovered between 39 to 42 degrees Celsius, according to a disaster management official.

Gatchalian added that summer vacation was set from April to May due to the elections and the extra-curricular activities that the students may undertake.

“May logic ‘yan e kaya nilagay d'yan [in those months]. Two reasons: Number one, ang eleksyon natin is always summer. So people will go out to vote kasi pag tag-ulan people will not go out to vote. And then, pangalawa, summer kasi that’s the time students can go out, spend time with their families as opposed to tag-ulan. So  mas maganda na ibalik natin sa dating April, May ang summer vacation,” he said.

While he said it’s about time to return to the pre-pandemic school calendar, Gatchalian said it would take time as it would require a transition period.

“It will take a little bit of time kasi slow transition ‘yan pero dapat ibalik na dahil ‘yan na ang naging kaugalian natin,” he said.

The current school year opened on August 22, 2022 and will end on July 7, 2023.

Meanwhile, Gatchalian said he was “surprised” about the incident in Cabuyao, Laguna as the Department of Education has “very strict” protocols when it comes to earthquake and fire drills.

“Nakita ko may mga department orders 'yan e. Of course, ‘yung mga principals natin binibigyan din natin sila ng laya para gumawa ng mga ganitong pagsasanay pero meron silang sinusundan na proseso. So nagulat lang ako na nangyari yan,” he said.

He then advised the school principals to be extra careful in conducting these activities especially now that the dry season has already started.

“Mag-ingat lang dahil napakainit ‘no at 'wag tayong gagawa ng mga bagay na malalagay sa delikado ang mga bata natin, dahil ‘yung mga ganitong init, hindi natin alam kung may mga ibang sakit pa ‘yung iba d’yan baka may mangyari,” he said. — BM, GMA Integrated News