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Philippines and Venezuela: Remaining Countries Who Still Conduct Online Class.
In the Philippines, two academic years were already spent inside home. Even though students are already tired of this kind of setup, they have no choice but to still follow the mandate of the government.
In the whole freaking world, Philippines and Venezuela are the remaining countries to conduct online approach of teaching. However there are some reports that in the end of September , Philippines might be the only one remaining.
President Rodrigo Duterte always rejects the call for the pilot study since the country’s COVID-19 cases are still increasing despite long and several lockdowns.
Different sectors are already pressing the government to continue the face to face classes because it continuously affects the learning of students. According to a survey, the majority of the students express that they are not satisfied with the current mode of education adding that they can’t absorb the information easily, and or distraction is present in the environment thus making them not focus on class.
In addition, the mental health of the public, especially the students, has already deteriorated during this time. According to a recent research study conducted by Frontiers in Psychiatry, Filipino respondents reported significantly higher levels of depression, anxiety, and stress than other nationalities during the COVID-19.
On the other hand, students (education) are not the only affected sector. According to National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) director-general Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua, the Philippines may face P11-T ($ 240 406 284 000) of productivity loss over 40 years if the classes will not go back to normal.
There’s a way!
UNICEF said that there’s a way to safely and gradually open the schools here in the Philippines.
According to Isy Faingold, we can use the experience of other countries and apply it to the Philippines. Let’s take Saudi Arabia for example. They will allow high school students who are fully vaccinated to return back in school while the primary level are still required to stay home until October (2021). While in China, Vietnam, and Indonesia, they gradually opened the class in low risk areas.
He said that some created practices, such as taking classes outside, while "classroom bubbles" were used in the United Kingdom, Singapore, and Canada.
Faingold said that it aids in limiting closure if infection is identified. They do not need to close the entire school; simply ask the bubble or group of children [with] a COVID case to separate themselves. Others, however, can continue with in-person instruction.
My take on the issue
The absence of face to face class this school year is one of my reasons why I halt my journey as a student. Aside from the distraction from my home, I am also thinking that finishing a college degree on an online class setup will affect my employment in the future. I hope I am wrong but other companies might discriminate against those applicants who only studied or graduated from an online class since those people are seen as limited in learning and skills.
This is why I am also in favor of bringing back the face to face classes. Aside from it will finally alleviate the inconvenience, it will also force the government to ramp up the mass testing and contact tracing.
Up to this now, mass testing and contact tracing is not prioritized by the Duterte administration. Yes, they do exert effort to stop the transmission of COVID-19 but they’re doing it in a wrong way. For example, they are just doing lockdowns without doing testing and tracing. It will surely stop the transmission but when everything goes back to normal, and people leave their houses, transmission will start again.
Other countries rarely do lockdowns but they still manage to control the disease because they have aggressive mass testing and contact tracing. They can immediately find the infected person and isolate it in the healthy population. If this current administration changes its approach to the pandemic, our nation’s recovery will go back to normal, and face to face classes will be back shortly.