MANILA — A congresswoman of high standing has proposed that schools operating on a single shift should consider starting their classes around 8 or 9 in the morning. This would allow students from kindergarten to senior high school to have sufficient time for sleep and breakfast.
According to Bohol Third District Representative, Kristine Alexie B. Tutor, “Students require an ample amount of sleep. Waking up at 5 am or 6 am is detrimental to their physical and mental well-being. Insufficient sleep is the primary issue we aim to address here.”
Congw. Tutor serves as the Chair of the Committee on Civil Service and Professional Regulation and is also a member of the Committee on Higher and Technical Education.
“The stunted growth of school children is not solely a result of malnutrition and undernourishment. It is also associated with inadequate sleep, as it is during sleep when the body rests and undergoes daily regeneration or growth. Lack of sleep leads to restlessness, anxiety, inability to concentrate, and sleeping in class during the day,” Tutor added.
The congresswoman further explained that starting classes at 8 am or 9 am would also allow students to have breakfast at school. “If students are unable to eat breakfast at home before heading to school, school feeding time could be scheduled from 7 am to 8 am before classes commence.”
Tutor believes that implementing this change does not require new legislation, as it can be achieved administratively. She stated, “Schools operating on a single shift can start classes at 8 am or 9 am and conclude around 3 pm to 4 pm. Such schools with adequate classrooms do exist.”
Commencing classes in the mid-morning would also provide teachers with sufficient time for preparation. “Starting classes around 9 am would allow teachers 1 to 2 hours to prepare themselves and their classrooms if they report for work at 7 am or 8 am. Ending classes at 3 pm or 4 pm would enable teachers to attend to administrative tasks and wrap up matters before heading home, resulting in fewer work-related tasks to be completed at home,” Tutor explained.
Non-teaching personnel would also benefit from the allocated preparation time. “Janitors, utility staff, and security personnel require time to prepare and ensure that the premises are clean, organized, and secure before classes commence,” she emphasized.
Tutor emphasized the importance of weekends being dedicated to family time for both students and teachers, except for occasional co-curricular activities, training, and contests. She also stressed that co-curricular activities unrelated to regular classes should not disrupt weekday schedules. “No ROTC or similar activities should be conducted on Saturdays or Sundays,” she concluded. (ai/mtvn)