The new school season had welcomed kids with a series of heavy downpours. The rainy season had just started and in an average, the Philippines get eight (8) typhoons each year. Additionally, there are around 20 tropical cyclones that enter the Philippines’ area of responsibility in a typical year. Parents and kids had more grueling rainy days to come.
In the past few weeks, we have seen several cancellations of classes due to heavy rains and flooding. Unfortunately, these notifications are declared either too late or never at all. Kids end up stranded in schools. In some cases, kids get stuck in the kid’s school bus due to flooded streets. This is very uncomfortable for both Parents and kids.
Mobile phones, gadgets and the internet had captivated this generation of parents, and the decline of the traditional radio broadcast media had been attributed to these new technologies. On the contrary, the Philippine government is still in the dark ages of the internet. With radio broadcast as the cheapest medium, circulation of kids’ class cancellation advisories are sluggish.
Kids may also find it awesome to play under the rain while they are away from the watchful eyes of their parents. Yet, neglecting kids from playing under the rain is like depriving kids from these priceless moments. This may sound to be an over protective notion, but keeping kids away from polluted flood waters (specially in urban areas where most of schools are located) is as good as keeping kids away from dreadful diseases.
Parents try their best to provide good education and ensure child welfare. However, with these hard times, it is likely that both parents had to work. A sitter (yaya) would be an expensive option but finding a competent one is like searching for a needle in a haystack.
Furthermore, most schools restrict kids from using mobile phones, checking the status and whereabouts of kids makes it harder for anxious parents.
Parents and educators can make things easy for kids with the following simple tips.
- Get to know other parents whose kids attend the same school as your kids do. It is likely that one of them may be dropping off their kids in school personally. Some parents or sitters may also stay in or near the school premises to watch over the kids while in school. Being able to contact them would be a relief.
- Get to know your kid’s school bus driver and school personnel. Their mobile numbers will one day be useful for you.
- Local PAGASA phone hotlines can be very handy. Knowing the latest weather forecast early is a very effective tool in planning your day. Alternatively, listening to radio broadcasts and getting online to check the local weather forecast would be a good option.
- Knowing your kid’s school topography, your kid’s school bus route and local flooding history, though difficult to get by, would be very helpful.
- Have your kids memorize phone numbers that you deem is attended to most of the time. This idea is very effective in emergency cases as well.
Being well equipped with this information, keeping track of your kids and ensuring kids’ welfare would make life easier for parents, educators and the children.