With Metro Manila under the sweltering grip of an intense heatwave, the University of the Philippines Diliman is pivoting to online classes, a move aimed at safeguarding the health and comfort of its community.

Prompted by the University Student Council’s concerns over the forecasted extreme temperatures, the campus leadership is advocating for a shift to remote and asynchronous learning modes whenever feasible.

Acknowledging the discomfort and potential health risks associated with the extreme temperatures, the UPD Office of the Chancellor emphasized the importance of prioritizing the well-being of both students and faculty.

“In view of the concerns raised by the UPD University Student Council regarding extreme heat in Metro Manila in the coming days, faculty members whose class activities may be done online are requested to consider shifting to remote and/or asynchronous modes of learning during extreme heat conditions,” stated the official announcement.

UP Diliman Shifts to Online Classes Due to Heatwave Official announcement
UP Diliman Shifts to Online Classes Due to Heatwave – Official announcement

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) has highlighted the gravity of the situation, predicting that the heat index in Quezon City could soar to 41 degrees Celsius, a level that necessitates extreme caution. The heat index, a measure that factors in humidity to describe how hot it feels, can significantly impact human comfort and health. PAGASA’s Weather Specialist, Benison Estareja, has indicated that these elevated temperatures are expected to persist until mid-May, raising concerns about heat-related illnesses such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and even heat stroke with prolonged exposure.

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In response to the escalating temperatures, some local government units in Metro Manila have already taken steps to mitigate the impact on students, including suspending afternoon classes or shortening class periods.

Similarly, the Department of Education has granted school authorities the discretion to suspend classes if temperatures reach unusually high levels, underscoring the serious implications of the heatwave on educational activities and student health.

The Department of Health has issued advisories to the public, emphasizing the importance of staying hydrated, avoiding outdoor activities during peak heat hours, and wearing light and loose-fitting clothing to prevent heat stroke and other heat-related illnesses.

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As the UP Diliman community adapts to these challenging conditions by leveraging online learning platforms, this measure not only ensures the continuity of education but also highlights the institution’s commitment to the safety and well-being of its students and staff.

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