When I was in high school, class suspensions due to inclement weather are rare, except of course during typhoons, when everyone would be glued to their radios and televisions for announcements.
Not that it matters anyway, since heavy flooding (except in our subdivision, as I’d mentioned in this column space some time ago) wasn’t as big a problem then, and our school was just walking distance from my house.
But when I entered college in 2010, the issue of suspending classes during typhoons have become a bit more complicated, as the authorities had left it up to the local government units (LGUs) and school administrators to decide whether to suspend classes due to bad weather.
At the time, Facebook wasn’t really used for messaging or chatting (ah, the joys of “unli-text” and the horrors of the “jejemon” language), so all we had to rely on for updates on class suspensions are radio and television.
To make matters worse, I had to leave the house at 6:00 a.m. to arrive early at my 9:00 a.m. class in Manila, and there had been times when I would arrive at our college only to be told by the guard that classes had been suspended. (Confession: if the weather wasn’t THAT bad, I would spend the rest of the day bus-hopping around Metro Manila.)
These days, with social media and instant messaging, we’d come to expect LGUs and school administrators to immediately announce class suspensions early in the morning before students prepare for school.
Last week, for instance, LGUs in Laguna province were called out by parents for failing to declare a suspension of classes despite heavy rains, while some LGUs in Metro Manila were also lambasted for declaring class suspensions later in the day – which, in bad weather, meant that students often struggle to reach home due to flooded streets and lack of public transport.
Unfortunately, these days weather had become so unpredictable: it might be raining heavily in the morning but bright and sunny in the noon, then back to heavy rains by the afternoon.
Some believe parents should also have a say in whether to let their children go to school in bad weather. Yes, I agree, but the problem with that system is that it might end up in anarchy as each parent has a different opinion on whether it’s suitable for their children to attend classes.
Here’s what I have to say: LGUs and school administrators are also caught in the dilemma of unpredictable weather patterns. Let’s not put all the blame on them for failing to keep students off danger during bad weather.
#UnCommonSense #JamesVeloso #TheClassSuspensionDilemma #OpinYonColumn #OpinYon