FACE-TO-FACE classes at UST will continue as scheduled, with alternative venues provided for courses affected by severe heat, the Office of the Vice Rector for Academic Affairs (OVRAA) said.

In an email to the Varsitarian, Vice Rector for Academic Affairs Cheryl Peralta said her office has given directives to academic units, specifically the Institute of Physical Education and Athletics (IPEA), regarding class management during hot weather.

“Where extreme heat may require classes to be transferred indoors, alternative facilities will be identified without compromising the achievement of intended learning outcomes,” she said.

For physical education classes, instructors may transfer to indoor facilities and were advised to remind students about being hydrated.

“I have coordinated with the IPEA, who confirmed that teachers and students are frequently reminded to hydrate themselves and use protective head covering when appropriate,” Peralta said.

Peralta said her office and the Office of the Secretary General have concluded that University facilities were adequately prepared to accommodate students even amid exceptionally hot weather.

“We (OVRAA and OSG) agreed that, considering our classes are conducted in airconditioned facilities, teachers and students can safely and comfortably continue onsite classes as scheduled,” she said. 

The Health Service has shared information on safeguarding against summer hazards and illnesses through the Thomasian Online Medical Support and Services (ThOMedSS), which can be accessed via the MyUSTe portal.

Recently, several schools and local government units have been calling off onsite classes as heat index forecasts in the country breached 40ºC.

The Department of Education reported that nearly 4,000 schools across the country have suspended onsite classes due to extreme heat, affecting over 1.3 million learners nationwide and 395,210 in Metro Manila.

At the start of the month, the Division of City Schools – Manila released a memorandum stating mitigation measures against the high heat index, where it granted administrations of public elementary and secondary schools authority to suspend in-person classes amid extreme cases, such as high heat. 

“Relative to the high heat index currently being experienced in the country, this Office encourages all schools to mitigate the heat and be creative in ensuring that learning continues in the midst of the situation,” the memorandum read.

It added that teachers and students may wear “more comfortable clothing aside from their regular uniforms” to help them beat the heat of the hot weather.

In UST, students transition to wearing Type B uniforms, typically consisting of collared polo shirts with varying styles of pants and shorts across academic units, after Ash Wednesday.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) forecasted that Metro Manila will continue to experience heat indices ranging from 41 to 42 degrees until April 5.

Pagasa classifies temperatures ranging from 42 to 51 degrees celsius under the “danger category,” as people experiencing the hot weather could experience heat cramps, exhaustion, and heat stroke.


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