Academic break

ESSENCE - Ligaya Rabago-Visaya (The Freeman) - November 19, 2020 - 12:00am

Families seem to be in the pit of helplessness with the consecutive typhoons that added to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. For our students, learning deliveries, whether online, modular or mixed, are all affected. And the internet infrastructure needs to be repaired as soon as possible during this period. However, depending on the level of damage in particular locations, this does not take only days, but weeks or even a month.

And so certain groups of students, parents and even teachers propose a national academic break. They say that all Filipino students are covered by such an academic break. They added that "let them breathe for the sake of reducing the misery of ordinary citizens and young people”.

However for the Commission on Higher Education, it did not endorse the idea of a national academic break because the effects of the typhoon and the disasters vary across various parts of the country and for badly hit areas in Luzon, universities are already agreeing on it as part of their academic freedom exercise. The Commission left the decision to the school authorities because the various schools and the various students and families are impacted by the different decisions.

For families and their children to cope appropriately, academic breaks may be in the form of suspensions for weeks, allowing required changes brought on by the tragedies. At the same time, this would encourage schools facing long class suspensions to choose to change their academic calendar so that learning outcomes are not affected.

For example, big schools in the National Capitol Region have suspended both online, both synchronous and asynchronous, classes from this week to the end of November. And to keep academic standards to a minimum for faculty members, to be extra considerate and flexible with deadlines for academic demands.

Despite calamities or other problems we have, the entire view is in line with continuing education. Seeking ways of making learning easier for our students. This is also the time to allow flexibility and to be more considerate because of the many inconveniences and challenges caused by the calamities.

It is the responsibility of relevant government agencies to ensure the delivery of quality education to everyone. However, innocent children are suffering most in the current background of growing incidences of disasters and their fundamental right to education is being constantly jeopardized.

In one way or another, a crisis will still have its effect on education. The right of children to education is threatened during crises, whether in the form of natural disasters such as typhoons, earthquakes, tsunamis, and cyclones, or armed conflicts. Children are most prone to such conditions in low-income families.

To make them more user-friendly and enticing to children, we need to use innovative approaches, including interactive media and simulation exercises. It is also crucial that more electronic study materials are created by educational authorities and the necessary infrastructure is built so that even a displaced child can access learning materials from anywhere via various electronic media.

In the wake of a disaster, we are left to deal with ruined infrastructure and severely battered minds. Repairing broken property or buildings is easier than mending bruised minds. It is important to carefully treat these delicate situations so that we can heal the wounds and scars left in the minds of children and young adults while ensuring our country's growth.

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