Schools in Philippines go online amid extreme heat

By VNA   April 24, 2024 | 08:21 pm PT
Schools in Philippines go online amid extreme heat
Children in a classroom at a school in Mabalacat City of the Philippines. Photo by Unsplash/Avel Chuklanov
Record heat in the Philippines in April has forced schools to send children home for online classes.

Children at 7,000 public schools in the country were sent home last week due to unusual hot weather in many areas that forecasters have linked to the effects of the El Nino weather phenomenon.

In public schools in Metro Manila, the capital region, a survey of more than 8,000 teachers in March showed 87% of students had suffered from heat-related conditions.

More than three-quarters of teachers described the heat as "unbearable" in the survey conducted by the Alliance of Concerned Teachers of the Philippines – National Capital Region (ACT-NCR), a teaching association.

Nearly half or 46% of teachers said classrooms have only one or two electric fans, highlighting inadequate ventilation measures to deal with rising temperatures.

Since the start of El Nino, "danger category" temperatures as high as 44 degrees Celsius have been predicted by country’s weather agency.

The Philippines' Department of Health (DOH) on April 24 said it has received at least 34 cases of heat-related illness, including six deaths, from January 1 to April 18 this year.

The 34 reported heat-related cases were from the central Visayas region in the central Philippines, the Ilocos region in the northern Philippines, and the Soccsksargen region in the southern Philippines.

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