Education and the economy
ROSES AND THORNS - Pia Roces Morato (The Philippine Star) - July 3, 2020 - 12:00am

With everyone still struggling in the midst of a pandemic, education efforts face one of the biggest threats as many learners are deciding not to stay in school.

The Department of Education is looking at 21.6 million students this school year as compared to the 27 million that were enrolled in private and public elementary and high school education in the last school year.

Having said this, the impact on continuous education is alarming as in my opinion, the understanding of its importance is superseded by the fear that hovers due to COVID-19. Understandably, the DepEd and its Secretary has acknowledged such fears, however the call to pursue an education still remains.

A clear mindset is key in making the right decision for our learners and, while a pandemic forms the basis until such time we find a vaccine, keeping our children in school entails the ability to keep an open mind as face to face learning is not the only structure set for all our learners.

We have been hell bent on traditional schooling and truth be told, traditional education is not for everyone, more so when faced by a crisis. Alternative solutions are meant to adapt to changes in a very modern world and at a time where the entire human race is dealing with an invisible enemy nobody was prepared for.

It is but natural that as our economy faces its challenges, this will greatly affect families and the decisions they make on the education of their children. As expected, even the Department of Education realizes this. Going back to alternative solutions, families especially parents, must seek for such solutions as education levels the playing field.

A two-week extension for enrollment has been set by the DepEd in the hopes that families realize that every learner’s right to education must not be interrupted.

While technology is here for us, access to gadgets and internet is a challenge for both learners and teachers. however, for those who value good quality education, these challenges may be overcome with both national and local government efforts pursuing the necessary ways and means to ensure that no learner gets left behind.

Yes, the economy plays a big part in the educational lives of our children – I am a parent too facing the same challenges and fears, and because education to me is an investment, it is also a big priority.

Baby steps as they say and we must take it one hurdle at a time. Nevertheless, and especially since education is the one very important value for most Filipinos, let’s make these hurdles count, as the next generation will be the very same generation of leaders. Our country will depend on them eventually.

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