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LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Ctrl+Alt+Shift moment for PH education

/ 05:02 AM May 07, 2020

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Philippine academic institutions should consider undergoing a six-to-12-month strategic pause to lessen the damages of the COVID-19 pandemic. Implementing a forced and premature total digitalization process is harmful to a large population of students without decent access to technology.

An academic hiatus is extreme under normal circumstances, but appropriate in facing the “new normal,” with the following goals and considerations:

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1) Control the virus and protect the health of every family. Let’s continue flattening the curve and stay at home. Younger citizens may have a better immune system, but can possibly become carriers of the virus. We can consider allowing graduating college and health care students to continue their schooling via online education. Disregard unnecessary requirements that are not directly connected to surviving this pandemic. Ideally, someone can also develop an EduTECH app that can run via free data. But in the end, life is more important than a diploma.

2) Use school buildings as alternate spaces for healing. Some private and government schools have already been converted into makeshift hospitals and health care centers. Having compartmentalized spaces for quarantine and recovery can stop the virus from spreading. Within Metro Manila, some schools may also serve as temporary housing for informal settlers as we aim to prepare them to participate in the “Balik Probinsya” initiative. This additional goal will decentralize the cities, leading to more long-term healing of individuals and society.

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3) Create and shift to a new and sustainable curriculum. Education will lift a person from poverty, but appropriate and learner-centered teaching designs can lift our nation. Teachers can still continue receiving salaries by providing modules to their students. The goal is to support and enhance their morale, comprehension, and sense of nationalism. With the assistance of local government units, the data gathered through the modules can produce research toward creating a new curriculum that aims to develop the next generation of responsible citizens.

Learning never stops and education should start right at home. We have the formative moment to press Ctrl+Alt+Shift when it comes to our academic culture, and end mass-production, factory-style education.

Ed Diansuy Jr.,[email protected]

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TAGS: coronavirus pandemic, coronavirus philippines, COVID-19, Ed Diansuy Jr., education, learning, Letter to the Editor
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