CANCEL THE ACADEMIC YEAR 2020-2021
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Due to the rising numbers of cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines, and the curve have not flattened yet, it is possible that by opening the school year 2020-2021, the total cases will be doubled.
Students are not the same. Not everybody has the means to adapt to the new normal type of schooling. Having online learning as an alternative to educate learners is proven to be uneffective and insufficient.
The academic freeze is vital in this time wherein there is a pandemic, mainly because of the following reasons:
1. Not every students in the Philippines have stable internet connections at home. Also consider that the Philippines are one of the countries that have the slowest internet connection worldwide.
2. Not all of the students are privileged to own the materials that they would be needing on the online based education that DepEd wants to implement this school year. E.G, laptop, computer, mobile phones, etc.
3. Even though that there would be printed materials that will be delivered to the homes of the students through courier service, the parents would be obliged to use their money for the courier fees instead of using that amount for their necessities in the middle of this pandemic.
4. I've read an article before wherein the Director of DepEd in Bicol said that the pause of education for this year would lead to produce "mangmang na mga estudyante." What's the point of pushing the students to continue their studies this year if their healths would be at risk? Especially that there are no vaccines yet for the COVID-19.
5. Even though that students before the pandemic are attending their classes in schools, facing their teachers face to face in a daily basis, not all of them can comprehend their lessons and are still having a hard time to focus on their lessons. What more that they would be studying through screens only? How can we be sure that they would be able to learn?
It may not be the best solution, but an academic freeze can be adopted until the digital divide is fully resolved or results of mass testing and curve-flattening are already evaluated empirically. This will require a flexible academic term, calendar, and curricula to lessen the school days required, lower the number of course requirements, and reduce tuition and other fees usually projected for the use of school facilities.
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