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Opinion

Reopening schools

VERBAL VARIETY - Anne Fe Perez - The Freeman

In an attempt to create a good topic for this year's regional schools press conference's column writing competition, I thought about asking elementary students to make their stand on reopening the schools in the midst of the pandemic. I got word that the Education Department targets to open all schools by June this year amid the uncertainty of the pandemic.

It’s interesting how children actually care about how their lessons are delivered. We have been led to think that they don't want to go to school. When their mode of delivery shifted to modules, we heard different legitimate complaints. It came to a point when the whole system became a joke as memes of parents answering the modules went viral. There were also videos of students crying because they couldn’t stand studying at home. The house, which is supposedly a place for comfort and refuge, was now a fortress of intellectual struggle.

I side with most of them when they said that it’s unsafe for them to be inside a room to learn. However, I realized that the online and modular delivery can't apply to all. For example, a learner can’t focus at home if it is too cramped, humid, or noisy. The environment isn't just conducive to absorbing key concepts. Internet connectivity is also a luxury for those who barely eat three times a day. It just isn't fair at all.

With limited face-to-face classes in place, the old vigor of being in school returns. There is an avenue for in-person discussion and facilities to access for learning. Young children can now interact physically with their classmates provided that they don’t touch each other. It's an exciting phase in this pandemic but one where we should still be on guard.

It does not make sense when other public spaces such as malls, cinemas, leisure centers are allowed open but schools aren't. My professors in the Journalism department of UP Diliman attributes a percentage of being persuaded by disinformation to longer exposure on the internet. When we keep our children at home, that's what happens. They are stuck on their gadget trying to comply with requirements on top of socializing with their peers. The pandemic has made the young vulnerable to believe in what isn't true.

I've already mentioned before that the pandemic has robbed two years of our lives. For children, the time spent is more than just two years. I guess we should give them a chance to experience what it is to grow up. As long as we don't forget protocol, fulfill our duty to be vaccinated, and be mindful of our actions. They say we are on our way to an endemic situation but with the recent subvariant, who knows? Working around the situation is a wise thing to do. Like they say, there are many ways to skin a cat.

PANDEMIC

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