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'Summer heat' affecting students' concentration —ACT survey

A huge majority of teachers in the country reported that students are finding it difficult to concentrate on their studies due to "summer heat", according to a survey conducted by the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT).

According to the poll, 87% of teachers said children are having difficulty focusing on their lessons while 37% said the summer heat triggered their pre-existing medical condition.

“Kapag nag le-lesson po kami hindi na masyadong nag co-concentrate ang bata sa init. Kasi iba na pakiramdam nila...Kahit nga po kaming mga teacher hindi namin nararamdaman tumatagaktak na pawis namin,” said Teacher Jocell Masongsong in Maki Puldo’s report on “24 Oras” on Wednesday.

(The students are finding it hard to focus because they are uncomfortable. Even for us teachers who sometimes are drenched in sweat.)

“Nahihilo po... Mahirap pong mag concentrate... 'Yung ibang mga kaklase maingay pa po,” said Grade 7 student Lov Ger.

(I feel dizzy and I cannot concentrate. I also have to deal with my noisy classmates.)

The survey also showed that 40% of the teachers noticed a growth in the number of absences in recent days. 

Earlier, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said it might be high time to revert to the previous schedule of the start of the school year as well as the summer break which is around April.

“Ang mga bata dapat magpahinga, maglaro, magbakasyon,” said Gatchalian.

(Children should be able to rest and play during summer.)

The Department of Education (DepEd) changed the opening of classes to August in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the rainy weather in the country during June and July.

“‘Pag gagawin nating tag-ulan ang kanilang bakasyon hindi sila makakalabas, makukulong sa bahay lang. Kaya yan naman yung tinatawag nating social reason kaya ginawa yan ng summer. Kaya tayo may summer break at nakaka-bakasyon ang pamilya,” Gatchalian added.

(If their vacation would be during the rainy season they won’t be able to go out. That's the social reason. A summer break allows them to go on vacation with their families.)

The ACT-Teachers, for their part, expressed support for the lawmaker’s call, saying the DepEd has a buffer of 40 school days in response to the prevalent class suspensions in June and July caused by the storms hitting the country during the rainy season.

“May tinatawag po tayong number of minimum school days... Usually that’s 180 days at ang ating school calendar ay naka-peg sa 220 school calendar days. Ibig sabihin may 40 days na naka- buffer sya,” said ACT Teachers Secretary-General Raymond Basilio.

(We have what we call minimum school days and usually that’s 180 days. Our school calendar was pegged at 220. This means we have 40 buffer days.)

The DepEd said it would be studying the proposal but added that there is no plan of reverting the opening of the school year as of the moment. Deped also said that school heads have the authority to shift the classes to blended learning in case the students are having difficulties studying due to the summer heat. —Sundy Locus/ VAL, GMA Integrated News