An appeal to IATF and CHEd: Reopen schools
It is as a former teacher and mother of a sophomore student at the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) that I express this appeal.
More than a year after the holding of virtual classes, how is the welfare of our students taken care of? What government agency should spearhead the return of our students back to their classrooms/schools?
I saw a glimmer of hope when I read the news “Neda: Return of in-person classes doable in August” (06/11/21). Every mention of the possibility of face-to-face classes is good news for students and parents alike.
The conduct of online classes, on a long-term basis, is not simply applicable to all students in all levels of learning. We cannot allow the quality of learning to suffer any further. It’s high time we reconsider the best interest of our students. Why not allow in-person classes starting in areas with the lowest risk of COVID-19? Why can’t we allow colleges and universities to open, once again, their doors to their students?
Online classes are not effective for elementary and high school students. I know of some parents who answer the learning modules of their children. A former co-teacher in one public school shared with me her plan to retire early to get away from the parents of her students who call her any time of the day. I know of some teacher-friends who are in virtual meetings even on weekends. The quality of learning and quality of life are adversely affected by online classes.
After subscribing to fast internet service and buying a quality laptop for my daughter, I thought she was getting the most out of her asynchronous and synchronous classes in the convenience in our home in Quezon City. Imagine my shock when she asked whether she could leave her classes in the coming semester because she was not learning much from online classes. Some laboratory subjects in college couldn’t be grasped easily through theories alone. My ready answer? NO to any plan to leave or quit school, because her case is not an isolated one. The feeling of not learning that much is shared by majority of learners during this pandemic.
The COVID-19 virus is here to stay. And with the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines, why not put our students on the priority list? Why not allow schools with clinics/hospitals to handle the vaccination program of these students?
The resumption of classes will slowly revive our economy as students return to their respective schools. As a parent, I would gladly accompany my daughter back to her dormitory in Los Baños. Life, and learning, must go on.
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