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Health Over Education. The Impact of the COVID-19 on the Education of Filipino Students

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Philippines is one of the high risk countries from the coronavirus outbreak. The government has announced lockdown of Metro Manila, followed by the entire Luzon Island and other provinces of the country. Now, the entire Philippines is under GCQ except for Cebu and Mandaue Cities. This crisis made a huge impact to the country, not just in its economy but also the education of the students. Due to this lockdown, face-to-face classes were postponed that resulted to an online classes. Opening of classes in August is not advisable due to the threat of COVID-19 even though online classes will be an option, not all students can benefit with this.

Coronavirus is still a risk within the Philippines and opening of classes in August will put the teachers and students at risk. Parents are delaying whether to send their children to school. Specialists from the University of the Philippines (UP) have cautioned that opening of classes may increment the transmission of the virus. A group of teachers said that it would be best to put off the opening of classes until the government carries out mass testing. According to the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT), teachers are continuously willing to stand for the education but opening of classes when there is no ensure for the wellbeing and security of the teacher and particularly for the students will only put them in peril. The group recorded five conditions for the school opening whereas the country is confronting with the pandemic, “Without addressing to all five, no return to schools shall take place. The safety of students and teachers comes first”, ACT said. In a meeting, President Duterte said that classes will remain suspended in the country until a vaccine against COVID-19 is made available.

After the lockdown, schools were closed and classes were suspended. At this point, a few schools proceed through online classes in order to guarantee that their students will not miss out their lessons. In public schools, DepEd is recognizing the use of online instruction since face-to-face is profoundly disheartened. Online classes will only be successful to those students who have their technological equipment and have an internet access. A Grade 11 student at UST Senior High School taking up Humanities and Social Sciences (HUMSS), is one of the affected students due to the danger of coronavirus. In a phone interview, he expressed that online lesson is much more challenging compared to classroom learning.

According to the Speedtest Global Index, Philippines’ internet still falls underneath the worldwide normal, positioning within the 103rd among 139 studied countries. Adrian Camposagrado, chair of the University Student Council (USC) of University of the Philippines Visayas (UPV) said that the foremost common concerned of the students is the need of steady internet. Other students moreover raised their concerns that they will have no internet to get in their hometown. The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) admitted on hearing that poor internet particularly within the provinces area isn’t doable to online classes. The Commission has gotten petitions from students to halt online classes for the benefit of the students who have destitute internet connection. Online classes will include the costs of the family since students go online and utilize mobile internet.

At this point in time, everybody is confronting a risk from COVID-19, opening of classes isn’t prudent. Online classes can be an elective way of adapting the missed lessons but this will be successful to the students who are in a favorable circumstance whereas students who are fiscally battling will be in drawback. Knowing that a few individuals endured an extraordinary misfortune of salary, online classes will include the family costs. Considerate also that Philippines encompasses a moderate internet connection and students need of technological equipment, it can be an issue for the students. In case the government has carry out mass testing, discover vaccines and guarantee the security and safety of the students, opening of classes would be great.

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