February 3, 2023

Dear Manang,
I don’t understand why the schools schedule is going to change. We have gotten used to the school schedule as June to March and now it is starting in August? Is there a way to stop this change? This will mean new adjustments and the vacation will be different too.
Alyanna of Pinget, Baguio City

Dear Alyanna,
The new schedule is calibrated to August because summer classes end on July 23 this year. In all truth, it has been the Department of Education that has not implemented its own change in the school calendar that was supposed to have been started in 2018. The reason for this change in the calendar is because we are the only country that has June as the start of the school year. Schools around the world begin in August and we were just synchronizing with the world. Of course, the vacation is also adjusted to June to August.
Worry not,
Manang

Dear Manang,
What is psychological first aid? I have been hearing the term often these days. They say that it has something to do with the pandemic. It is also said that it can save people from suicide or going crazy? Is that right?
Pol of Ambiong, La Trinidad, Benguet

Dear Pol,
Psychological First Aid (PFA) is an evidence-informed modular approach to help children, adolescents, adults, and families in the immediate aftermath of disaster and terrorism (and this pandemic). Individuals affected by a disaster or traumatic incident, whether survivors, witnesses, or responders to such events, may struggle with or face new challenges following the event, according to the website, The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (TNCTSN).
PFA is designed to reduce the initial distress caused by traumatic events and to foster short- and long-term adaptive functioning and coping. PFA does not assume that all survivors will develop severe mental health problems or long-term difficulties in recovery. Instead, it is based on an understanding that disaster survivors and others affected by such events will experience a broad range of early reactions (e.g., physical, psychological, behavioral, spiritual), TNCTSN says. So, yes, it is important and it can be done by professionals.
It can save,
Manang