House bill seeks to ban classes set for earlier than 8:30 a.m.

House bill seeks to ban classes set for earlier than 8:30 a.m.

Bacolod Rep. Greg Gasataya has filed a bill banning classes scheduled to start earlier than 8:30 a.m. in schools under the Department of Education and the Commission on Higher Education.

In filing House Bill No. 569 Monday, Gasataya said school hours should start no earlier than 8:30 a.m. due to the “state of transportation, amount of workload under the new K-12 curriculum, state of mental health in the country, and accessibility of schools especially in rural areas which are just some of the conditions prejudicial to the health and safety of Filipino students.”

“It is the policy of the State to adopt an integrated and comprehensive approach to health development in schools. We must give priority to the physical, mental, and social well-being of students, among others, through a system of education which gives primordial interest and concern to the health and safety of students,” Gasataya said in a statement issued on Wednesday.

The lawmaker, a vice chair of the House Committee on Higher and Technical Education in the 17th Congress, also argued that other countries had later class start times and that some studies conducted abroad had correlated later school start times to improved student performances and achievement.

If enacted, this bill could also help parents who would have to wake up early to attend to their children’s needs, according to Gasataya.

Also among Gasataya’s pet bills are House Bill No. 568, which aim to provide a comprehensive scholarship for persons with disabilities and their children, and House Bill No. 573, which seeks to recruit, hire, and train additional mental health personnel in state universities and colleges.

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