No one should be left behind
ESSENCE - Ligaya Rabago-Visaya (The Freeman) - July 23, 2020 - 12:00am

We will be together in sickness and in health. Even in this time of the pandemic, it is hard to believe that one of our friends or family member might leave us anytime. And then we make it all possible that no one leaves us or is left behind.

Too much for schooling that is real. One massive consequence of this pandemic is that many parents are forced to let their children stop from schooling. Families lost both their income and their employment, when many companies shut down their shops. And we love education so much that we do it all just to have our children go back school again.

There is a direct implication to the academic aspect as parents will be searching for ways to support their children's online education or at least blended education for the beginning of classes or for the initial months of classes. And one of the key considerations in this kind of education delivery is the information technology requirement.

Time call is the provision of computers or mobile units that can support online education. And this is precisely why I find ways of equipping my son, who is on his second year in college, with the technical necessities.

I'm probably fortunate enough and blessed, because I've got just enough funds for this. But what about those families who cannot even fulfill their basic needs? And what about those who have just been laid off from work and even pre-COVID-19 had already difficulty of meeting both ends meet?

I assume that this is a problem faced by many, if not all, national state universities and colleges whose students come from the disadvantaged and marginalized families. We have students whose fervor to finish schooling is so high but slowed by this new modality of learning.

Very true to the University of the Philippine in Cebu where a large number of students come from neighboring provinces who even find it extremely difficult to support themselves. And this time the challenge is even harder because they need to adapt to the demand of the emerging modality of learning. Then the question is whether they can meet the demand for this new way of education.

Though there are already various initiatives to support our Iskolar ng Bayan. Alumni and other well-meaning groups have mobilized their efforts to ensure that learning will still take place in next few months.

On a personal note, let me take this as a personal crusade by appealing to those who still value it and believe our country's future depends on our young people. These young people who will be grateful to the community by paying forward when their time comes to serve. More than ever, regardless of our backgrounds and persuasions, we cannot afford that one will be left behind. Nobody from any Iskolar ng Bayan will be left behind.

The pandemic is a great time for sharing a sense of kindness. All we need is the willingness to do something good to someone, even a stranger, without expecting something in return.

We don't want a community of people or individuals, particularly the oppressed, will be left behind in any human endeavor, no matter how difficult it may be. Treating them as pure numbers means ignoring their enormous potential of becoming future builders.

Let's not worry out on how much we can do, the little things also make a big difference. Let's be a catalyst to remind others that there is good in the world and what an epic way to get going is to give back.

PANDEMIC
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