Suspension of face-to-face classes extended in Bacolod, other LGUs



Bacolod Mayor Alfredo Benitez said April 2 that face-to-face classes in pre-school, elementary, secondary, and senior high levels remain suspended until April 4, still due to high heat index as per the Pagasa forecast.

The mayors of Talisay City, Silay City, and E.B. Magalona in Negros Occidental also announced, as of press time, the continued cancellation of in-person classes, but only until today, April 3.

“The suspension of face-to-face classes for pre-school, elementary, secondary, and senior high levels is extended” to April 4, Benitez posted on his Facebook page last night, as he encouraged schools to adopt alternative delivery modes for instructional methods to benefit their students.

“However, private schools with air-conditioned rooms and tertiary-level institutions may exercise their discretion to continue with face-to-face classes,” he added.

Face-to-face classes in Bacolod and several local government units in Negros Occidental have been suspended since April 1.

In Talisay, Mayor Neil Lizares extended until April 3 the suspension of face-to-face classes and shifting to modular, or online classes in the preschool, elementary, up to senior high school levels, both in public and private schools, due to the sweltering heat index of up to 40 degrees Celsius as per the Pagasa Climatology Division.

“For private schools with fully air-conditioned classrooms, suspension of face-to-face classes is upon the discretion of the respective schools,” Lizares said, as he urged Talisaynons to take precaution against the life-threatening heatstroke.

Silay Mayor Joedith Gallego suspended onsite classes in all levels, both public and private schools, also until Wednesday. “Modular distance learning shall be implemented to cover learners from kindergarten to grade 12.”

In E.B. Magalona, Mayor Marvin Malacon also ordered the local Department of Education to continue adopting alternative delivery modes of learning, such as modular and online classes.

Acting Bago City Mayor Ramon Torres, meanwhile, issued Executive Order 26, series of 2024, authorizing local school heads, principals, and administrators to suspend face-to-face classes and shift to blended or distance learning modalities in all levels, from pre-school to tertiary, in both public and private schools in the city in case of “unfavorable weather and environmental conditions at their discretion, starting April 3 until April 8.”

La Carlota City Mayor Rex Jalando-on earlier signed EO 15-2024, also granting authority to heads of public and private schools, at all levels, in the city to suspend or cancel face-to-face classes amid extremely high temperatures.

The EO provides that, in case of cancellation or suspension of classes, the school shall implement modular distance learning to ensure learning continuity so that learning competencies and objectives are met, the city Public Information Office had said.

The municipal government of Binalbagan also gave school heads the discretion to suspend classes.

In Victorias, Mayor Javier Miguel Benitez said he has also granted school heads “the discretion to make decisions in alignment with the Department of Education’s directives.”

“Suspending classes merely offers a temporary fix to a complex issue. If we were to follow this path, consider the implications of temperatures spiking again tomorrow or the following week. Would this mean a halt to all school attendance?,” he said as to why he did not suspend face to face classes amid the soaring heat index.

Benitez said “the necessity of formal education for our children remains paramount. The most effective approach is to adapt our learning environments to these challenges, making them more suitable for education despite the heat.”

He said the city government is in the process of evaluating the availability of fans in classrooms across all schools in Victorias. “Moreover, we are relaxing the uniform policy during extreme heat conditions and considering the addition of more water fountains to ensure hydration.” | CGC, GPB