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Opinion

Reopening schools

VERBAL VARIETY - Anne Fe Perez - The Freeman

I have been receiving a lot of manifestations from my students for a move to bring back face-to-face classes. After a year of virtual remote learning, they somehow miss the life on campus. I do too, honestly. It is quite different to be able to have a real classroom with a real whiteboard while hearing real time the students who are chattering. I understand where they are coming from, but I also fear what they are asking for.

Apart from having to suffer a grueling hour and half of traffic just to reach campus, classrooms that have not been COVID-ready will become petri dishes for the virus to spread. The ventilation is not well for airflow to move freely and the space is just too cramped for many to be in one room. Thoughts of students having symptoms of the virus keep running through my mind while class goes on. It feels like a medical suicide.

Then I see footage of public school teachers taking their grievances to the street because of the hardship experienced in this set-up. I don't totally blame them for their clamor because they are not even given enough facilities and equipment to do their jobs. And the parents are also complaining that they cannot always assist their children's needs in answering the modules because they also have other responsibilities in life such as making sure they always have food to put on the table.

I mean it is indeed a hard life for all of us, living in this pandemic. By now, we should have already adjusted to the way things were supposed to but somehow the problems remain what they were back then. Now, the Cebu Institute of Technology University is having issues with the conduct of their examinations because the administration requires two devices per student. If we all do a privilege check, we’ll find that we are not in the same boat in this storm.

The teacher's consideration coupled with creativity is what keeps the pedagogy healthy in this set-up. One must exert effort in communicating with the student, to know their limitations and giving them feedback in time to avoid anxiety. The key is to find the balance to avoid being burned out because of the population of students. We adapt and evolve instead of whining on what isn't available at the moment.

I am strongly against the reopening of schools for basic education and college if the facilities themselves are not ready. We are in limbo trying to keep the daily number of cases down. It is true that it is very uncomfortable and inconvenient to be working and studying from home but somehow we get accustomed to it if we try. They call it the new normal for a reason.

On another note, I also think it is a case-to-case basis and that those with inadequate electricity and whatnot should be given consideration. A concrete plan by the education sector would be highly appreciated.

COVID-19
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THAT DOES IT - By Anne Sanchez | December 4, 2021 - 12:00am
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