MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Education (DepEd) announced on Thursday that school principals can decide whether or not to suspend in-person classes due to a high heat index based on Department Order 037 issued in 2022.

“In view of the high heat index experienced in various parts of the country, the Department of Education (DepEd) reiterates the provisions of Departmental Ordinance 037, issued in 2022, which provides guidance on the cancellation or suspension of classes and work in schools in the event of disasters natural disasters, power cuts/power outages and other calamities,” DepEd said in a statement.

“Specifically, DepEd has given school principals the authority and discretion to suspend the conduct of in-person classes and switch to alternative delivery modes (ADM) in cases of extreme heat and other calamities that may compromise the health and safety of students, teachers and non-teaching staff”, he added.

In recent days, some local government units have suspended classes and switched to ADM, such as online or asynchronous classes, due to high temperatures, which affect student learning. DepEd added that learning communities must have localized assessments to appropriately respond to situations and to ensure that students learn.

“Given that DepEd oversees more than 47,000 schools nationwide, it is in the interest of the learning community to have localized assessments for timely responses and interventions to ensure the well-being of students and staff,” DepEd said.

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