Should DepEd and CHED Stop the Classes this Calendar Year 2020-2021?

Misamis Oriental, Mindanao, Philippines (May 5, 2020) – The growing number of COVID-19 cases and patients continued to produce panic and shock among people.

Government leaders and healthcare providers, as well as concerned individuals, exerted much effort in producing vaccines and treatments to cure patients. They even enforced policies that could curb COVID-19 cases. For one thing, the coronavirus did not exist to be funny that government leaders and healthcare administrators would change their guidelines from time to time. It existed to cause harm and fatality, and it would demand all people to be serious about it. With 1.91 million confirmed cases in the United States and 616 thousand confirmed cases in Brazil as of May 5, 2020, at 6:17 PM Philippine Standard Time, COVID-19 did, however, create horrors and nightmares that left us hanging.

Everyone got shuddered. All did. However, others just ignored the presence of COVID-19. They did not follow the “social distancing” and “stay at home” policies since they struggled to survive in life. Yes, they sometimes listened to the “stay-at-home policy,” but they did not have jobs to earn money to support their families. They had to break the rules to live despite the threat of the pandemic. Even if the government provided assistance and support to the citizens, hundreds of thousands of people did not receive their simulation packages or social amelioration program (SAP). The Philippine government has done the best actions and measures to do; however, it nosedived in providing assistance and support to all citizens.

Now, the class opening is approaching. Some regions go back to “new normal,” a new term during the COVID-19 pandemic. Other places only have a “social distancing” and “no face-mask, no entry” policies. Today, local radio news cited that parents were divided. A few parents were fine to have online education for their pupils and students. Many others rejected the idea of online learning since pupils and students, according to parents, would only play their computer games and search for other unnecessary and violent video games.

Parents who had to go to the office were afraid of the possible scenario that their children could access undesirable websites, such as p*rn sites and violent video games sites. Most of the parents said that the government and the Department of Education (DepEd), as well as the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) should decide to discontinue the classes for Calendar Year 2020-2021. Should this be practical? Should government leaders, DepEd, CHED, and parents stop the classes for this current year?

Perhaps, government leaders, DepEd, CHED, and parents should consider some factors before deciding on discontinuing the classes for Calendar Year 2020-2021. They should realize the benefits of online education. Please check the data below.

Table 1. Online Education and its Benefits and Drawbacks
No. Drawbacks Benefits
1 Parents cannot sometimes monitor their children who study their lessons and take the examinations. Parents feel confident that their children are safe compared to traditional classroom learning.
2 Pupils and students have the luxury of time to do unnecessary materials and stuff online without supervision from parents and teachers. Pupils and students can easily access the files and take the tests at home. As well, they can easily ask support from their family members and parents some questions related to the tests.
3 During the tests, teachers do not know who takes the examination questions. Somehow, pupils and students ask someone to answer the tests for them so that they can pass the current course programs. Pupils and students can participate in family discussions and household chores since they study at home. This alternative to learning fits for the stay-at-home policy and social distancing policy.
4 The results of the examinations may not be valid due to the nature of the online tests. In other words, teachers need to think of other alternatives to conduct a one-on-one video chat to supplement the written test online. Online education saves money for transportation, books, and other resources. It creates an atmosphere that allows pupils and students to take the course programs in the comfort of their homes.

Table 1 above provides ideas concerning the advantages and the shortcomings of online education. There may be other ideas relevant to the discussions; however, you need to decide. Should government leaders, DepEd, CHED, and parents stop the classes for this current year? If you asked me, government leaders, DepEd, CHED, and parents should, instead, enrich DepEd and CHED to create a new platform to support online education and continue the classes for Calendar Year 2020-2021. What do you think?

Data Source: https://news.google.com/covid19/map?hl=en-PH&gl=PH&ceid=PH:en

Photo Source: https://www.getzelos.com/blog/how-plan-online-camp/

Why Should Everyone Uphold the Functions of the Commission on Human Rights

In the challenge of time and in the rise of forces and power, the United Nations Human Rights Council, as well as its commissioning country members around the world, should stand against terrors and violations.

Of course, we should not let another nightmarish history of genocide or holocaust to explode in the broadcast and print media. We cannot allow another massacre in Rwanda that killed 800,000 people. We cannot afford to witness another human life to die out of terrorism and violations.

This time someone or one group of force should say, ENOUGH.

The creation of the United Nations Human Rights Council serves as the greatest step to protect the rights of all citizens of the world regardless of their differences. Without any question, these fundamental human rights are inherent in all human beings, without exceptions, around the globe.

The establishment of the Human Rights Council as an inter-governmental body within the United Nations system strengthens the power to promote the protection of all rights of human beings. As today, there are 193 member countries of the United Nations, which has 47 States answerable for the advancement and protection of all human rights.

The country members of the United Nations have roles to connect and sustain their relationships with the United Nations. All members, by any means, are compelled to perform their functions and roles to establish their independence and power to protect the citizens of the world regardless of the differences.

The United Nations Human Rights Council is independent. It can discuss and explore all human rights issues, situations, and topics that demand further focus and attention. In all countries where the Commission of Human Rights (CHR) exists, the Chairperson and the commissioning members must uphold their duties free from prejudice. The CHR has to stand against all forms of human rights violations.

Based on the United Nations mandate, all people in the world have inherent rights to live their lives free from harm and torture. These human rights are innate to all human beings, irrespective of their ethnicity, language, nationality, race, religion, sex, or the like.

People must know and realize the concept, relevance, and significance of human rights. These rights take an account of the right to life and independence. As well, these rights include freedom from oppression and torment, freedom of outlook and expression, the right to work and education, and the like. In other words, all people regardless of their differences deserve freedom and a sense of independence without any discrimination. In all countries where human rights commission exists, people have to play their roles to examine, endorse, or defend human rights.

If this situation happens, the Commission on Human Rights should not perform their functions and roles by the dictate of other powerful groups. The Commission should stand firm and strong to perform their functions and roles by the rulebooks.  All government leaders should guarantee the financial budget for the Commission to operate. Even if government leaders did not like the presence of the Commission of Human Rights, they could not do something. They should respect the power of the CHR to investigate, promote, and protect all people in the world.

To summarize, government leaders should not override the independent power of the Commission to review all forms of violations committed by various groups. As well, the Commission should not take sides. The Commission and its members should understand that their functions and roles in office have been difficult and even tough. Even if they clash opinions and viewpoints of the government, the CHR should stand against any forms of injustices and human rights violations.

 

Understanding Propositions of Fact, Policy, and Value

Initial Thoughts

Understanding propositions will remain indispensable knowledge to gain in the study of argumentation and debate, as well as logic. This topic about proposition helps speakers and thinkers determine whether the statements they are arguing are true or false. Using the Aristotelian logic helps logicians and ordinary people think and decide on things to make judgments of details and ideas. Of course, the task to unravel the definition and meaning of proposition requires skills since propositions of any type will demand specific attention, focus, and research. With enough research and understanding of the forms and structures of propositions, any person can logically recognize propositions and categorize them whether to affirm or deny the statements of fact, policy, or value.

Proposition of Fact

Logicians and language experts completely understand the concept of propositions of fact. As stated, propositions of fact are statements that will focus largely on philosophies and then principles of the listeners to declare the falsity and veracity of the statements. The arguments presented by the speakers can drive attract and hook the listeners to pay attention and validate the incorrectness and authenticity of the statements. With the propositions of fact, logicians and language experts can admit or discard the falsity or reliability of the statements. For example, logicians and language experts argue on the propositions of fact:

    1. COVID-19 pandemic disrupts both brick-and-mortar and online businesses.
    2. Business organizations suffer a lot from the upsetting COVID-19 pandemic.

Proposition of Policy

Logicians and language experts will always comprehend the forms and structures, as well as the aims of propositions of policy. This proposition of policy requires some people to act. As mentioned, propositions of policy call people to act on something – decisions and judgments. Propositions of policy, in other words, allow listeners to determine whether or they take action on something. Regardless of the desirability of the statements, listeners take action. For example, logicians and language experts may propose somewhat beneficial.

    1. Government leaders and healthcare providers should work together to resolve the depressing impact of COVID-19 pandemic.
    2. Policymakers and healthcare leaders should discover feasible plans to aid all citizens to have viable healthcare and medical services plus to have simulation packages due to social distancing policy and travel restrictions.

Proposition of Value

Logicians and language experts introduce the third category or type of a proposition. Propositions of value focus on the promise statements to deliver to listeners. These propositions allow the speakers to induce listeners to pay attention to the value of something. In other words, propositions of value aim at urging potential listeners why ideas, products, and services are of value. For instance, logicians and language experts propose the statement: Buying this e-Book is advantageous for readers.

Final Thoughts

Indeed, knowing the forms and structures of propositions, as well as their intentions, helps speakers accomplish their goals and objectives. Learning the types of propositions, as well, help speakers realize the importance of propositions whether to confirm or reject facts, act based on policies, or deliver the promises of the products and services. Finally, whatever speakers do, they will only accept or deny the propositions.

Is Social Distancing Policy Effective?

In the Philippines, the concept of Social Distancing has been around for months.  Government leaders and healthcare experts joined in their mission to curb the COVID-19. They formed groups and worked together to enforce laws to instruct all people to stay indoors. People could not go outside and assemble some groups with friends to flatten the COVID-19 . They could not even go to the cinemas, churches, friends’ houses, malls, parks, and other business and social institutions. Individuals aged 20 years old and below and 60 years old and above have been prohibited to roam around and walk with people. Government leaders, as well as healthcare professionals, did enforce that diktat to curtail the spread of the virus.

Are we doing the right thing? This question came to mind since the government leaders in the country kept on changing the mandate from ECQ to GCQ to ECQ again. This mandate came from the national government units (NGUs) to the local government units (LGUs). For example, some regions in the country did impose the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ); whereas, others were on the general community quarantine (GCQ). Depending on where the epicenter and what the number of cases of COVID-19 was, government leaders were on the verge of going the situations back to normal. However, things would never be the same, so the government leaders and healthcare professionals called it “new normal.” It seemed funny though that COVID-19 created panic and tension among people – poor and rich alike.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) instructs healthcare providers and specialists to implement the keep-your-distance policy to slow down the spread of the virus. According to the site, limiting face-to-face contact with others becomes the best way to shrink the spread of COVID-19. The question now is on the effectiveness of social distancing policy. Before we answer that, we need to define and describe social distancing as a policy. Firstly, social distancing known as physical distancing means isolation. It keeps people’s distance. Secondly, social distancing is about two or more people with masks on six (6) feet apart. This condition, indeed, explains why two or more people keep their space between them.

Government leaders and their partners, such as the Department of Health (DOH) and other established agencies and units give directives to practice social or physical distancing:

    • Stay at least 6 feet or about 2 arms’ length from other people.
    • Self-isolate and make sure to avoid further contact with others.
    • Do not form groups and meet people in groups.
    • Stay out of jam-packed places and circumvent mass assemblies.
    • Stay at home.

Ngayon, nagawa na natin ang lahat na precautinary measures. Bakit nandiyan pa rin ang COVID-19. It seemed it would stay anyway. Marami pa rin ang nagkasakit. Hindi man siguro dahil sa katigasan ng ulo kung bakit ang iba ay nagkaroon ng virus.

If we continue to keep our distances and wait for simulation packages or Social Amelioration Program (SAP), what will happen to us? Hindi kasi lahat ng tao nabibigyan, nakatanggap ng SAP, or ng ayuda galing sa gobyerno.

Now, I am not sure if social distancing is effective to curb the spread of the virus. Some people need to find jobs, especially for the poorer of the poor and the poor themselves, as well as the lower-income middle class and the middle class. Since the government officials in the Philippines only support the poorest of the poor, what happens to the rest of the people considering that some industries and businesses have been under quarantine periods?

Regardless of the term lock-down or quarantine, we need to ask. Is social distancing policy effective? In what way it is effective. Please let me know by writing us back!

Source Photo by Ron Chang:

    • https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/social-distancing.html
    • https://www.rappler.com/science-nature/life-health/256528-intermittent-social-distancing-better-than-one-off-implementation-coronavirus
    • https://news.mb.com.ph/2020/05/18/social-distancing-for-church-goers/
    • http://tbs.seoul.kr/eFm/newsView.do?typ_800=N&idx_800=2391520&seq_800=

Online Education, Not A Bad Thing After All

When COVID-19 strikes, all educational institutions need to adapt to the new means and ways to continue their operations and classes as well. This alternative to learning new concepts and ideas is the new strategy to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. However, parents in the country today are worried about the educational status quo. They question the reliability and veracity of online learning. They question how students and teachers interact and how they participate in the process of learning. Despite all these questions, learners are left in the balance of whether or not they need to continue their studies or waste one year to let the COVID-19 pandemic vanish in existence.

Even if government leaders in the Philippines lift the travel restrictions and even if everything goes back to normal, academic classes still cannot resume. President Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines announced that he would not allow pupils and students to go to school without the COVID-19 vaccine. He said that he could not let them get infected with the virus.

To curb the coronavirus, the Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte made public announcement that he could not let students rub their elbows in the crowded classroom that infringed the social distancing policy. However, he said he would allow these learners to go to school unless the COVID-19 vaccine is available. Professional experts and teachers, as well as the specialists in the Department of Education and the Commission on Higher Education, exert much effort in promoting this learning tool called online learning to convince parents and students like to acknowledge the positive impact of online education. In terms of online education, pupils and students learn new concepts and ideas, read the course materials, study the lessons, submit projects, and take tests online.

In response to the challenging times, schools have to combine face-to-face learning and online learning known as blended learning. Most colleges and universities adapt to the demands of technology in the face of COVID-19. Online learning and blended learning are two great options for parents, students, and teachers to consider in the time of COVID-19.

However, most parents disagree on the concept of online learning. Some of them argue that they refuse to register their pupils and students at online learning due to the nature of the educational system. They assert that their pupils and students will not learn anything if they let them register and study online. As well, they think that their pupils and students are not yet ready to study independently and that these learners may somehow access uncalled-for and unwarranted documents and video files. They think that the online world is dangerous. Because of this reasoning, they prefer to stop registering and stopping their pupils and students online and will study a year after the COVID-19 pandemic.

On the contrary, online education is not a bad thing. Pupils and students can learn meaningful things online. They can learn from their basic to advanced lessons from podcasts to tutorials. With thorough supervision, parents can closely monitor their students and their progress based on the lessons of the new concepts and ideas. They can even help their children explain some topics after their work since online learning allows their students to access to their desired time. In other words, online learning gives them free time. They can even encourage their family members to participate in many social conversations between them and their kids. For that reason, online education remains beneficial as it gives pupils and students more opportunities to study on their own.

Instead of panicking, parents need to work hard to make sure that their students learn new concepts and ideas. They need to think of the benefits of online education. Because of online education system, parents and learners can adjust their class and work schedules. In the end, online education is not a bad thing after all.

Re-emergence of a Gargantuan Oarfish: Would the Region Face a Tremendous Earthquake?

Cagayan de Oro – On May 31, 2020, community residents in Cagayan de Oro found another massive oarfish washed ashore on the coastline. This mammoth type of fish lives in darkness into the depths of the sea. Known as a sea serpent, oarfish submerged more than 3,000 feet deep, which could be difficult for fishermen and expert researchers to see.

The well-known lore of oarfish to warn the incoming earthquake spread like wildfire in the region. Due to the Japanese traditional stories, many continued to roll down the narratives to convince others to believe that this type of fish appearing from the rock bottoms of the ocean would signal the impending debacles underground. However, Japanese researchers wished to displace and disassemble this lore or false report to disprove the connection of the reappearance of oarfish to warn an incoming earthquake. In 1928, research studies, circulated by the newspapers and academic papers, confirmed no relationships between oarfish emergence and any titanic tremor.

In March 2011, oarfish appeared in Tohoku. The Tohoku earthquake in Japan, which annihilated thousands of lives and destroyed three nuclear reactors, did associate with the appearance of oarfish. Because of this event, the myth grew stronger when some rarely-seen deep-water fish emerged in the shorelines in the years 2009 and 2010 to warn the March 2011 seismic wave. According to the lore, this oarfish called the Messenger from the Palace of Sea God that visited Japan’s seaboards to notify residents of the approaching underground movements and tidal wave.

If this folklore had a chance to be true, community residents should be ready when oarfish reappeared in their shorelines. The oarfish myth could convince, as folk narratives unfolded. However, there could be no scientific aim to contemplate that oarfish could predict the coming earthquake. Researchers and scientists explained that occasional oarfish sightings in shallow water were due to food hunt or any seismic activity underwater. One phenomenon could prove why oarfish appeared in shallow waters. During the El Niño years, the depths of the waters in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean were much chiller than ordinary. The surface water was warmer; however, the depths of water were even cooler during El Niño pushing this oarfish to find some food and swim into the shallow and warmer waters to get food. The extreme coolness underwater could disturb the oarfish’s habitat that urged them to plunge and reel into the sandbanks in search of food planktons.

Japanese researchers mentioned that seawater temperatures changed. In the deep-sea ecosystems, oarfish had to migrate if the habitat changed. Therefore, the oarfish splashed onshore on Pacific seashores did not warn any looming underground eruption after all.

Photo Source: Rodge Cultura, ABS-CBN News

Scorched Chapel and Households in Opol, Misamis Oriental, Alleged NPA Mutineers to Blame

Cagayan de Oro – Alleged communist insurgents set four households and a chantry on fire on the daybreak of Thursday, May 29, 2020 in Opol, Misamis Oriental.

The town Mayor Maximino Seno commented on the attack and persuaded the army to preserve and protect the safety of the inhabitants of Barangay Limonda.

“I don’t exactly know the motive of the New People’s Army (NPA) why it attacked the civilians. Besides, most of these inhabitants are poor,” Mayor Maximino Seno said.

“The village dwellers witnessed two alleged communist insurgents who gushed out gasoline on the houses and chapel of the Born Again Christian,” said Capt. Rene Belmonte Jr., the representative in the 403rd Infantry Brigade of the Army.

Capt. Rene Belmonte Jr. suspected that the NPA radicals executed their criminal deeds of sweltering the chantry and four households using Guerilla Front 12 bait.

As well, Capt. Rene Belmonte Jr. said that the Guerilla Front 12 did, however, maneuver its campaigns, policies, and tactics near the border of Misamis Oriental and Iligan City.

He mentioned that the NPA revolutionaries jarred with the Army soldiers on Tuesday in Barangay Rogongon in Iligan City.

“Those rebels advanced to Zone 2 but failed to stay a bit longer when residents squared them out by telling that they did not have food to offer,” said Capt. Rene Belmonte Jr.

“This early Thursday morning, 14 communist guerrillas, mostly equipped with M14 rifles, returned and scorched the Born Again Christian Chapel and residents’ houses,” Capt. Rene Belmonte Jr. said.

“When those communist insurgents left, they yelled, “Long Live the NPA,” he concluded.

Photo Source: https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1104200

Start Your Freelance Jobs Now

Most Filipino graduates and other professionals today confront the challenges of finding jobs in brick-and-mortar institutions. It is heart-breaking to realize that hundreds of thousands of graduates every year cannot even land on their dream jobs. With 1,000 applicants for 10 available positions for example, these graduates and professionals are compelled to compete with one another to secure entry-level and executive positions. This situation seems pathetic to think that they study their graduate and post-graduate programs for four, five, or six years in colleges and universities only to land on fast-food chains, restaurants, and call center industries. I do not want to pin down call center jobs, but finishing undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate studies only to work as call center representatives and technical support agents can be quite odder than I imagine.

However, reality bites. Most of these graduates do not have the option to do and to reconsider. All available choices to secure decent jobs, perhaps, become tight that they have to blow the dust and bite their fingers to gain one. Besides, what do we serve on our plates at the tables if we become picky to obtain our dream jobs? Considering 105 million Filipinos today, those available jobs become the subjects of witch hunts. We are all job seekers who choose to vie for the remaining job resources so that we can feed our hungry stomachs. I do not want to exclude myself since I experience the same adversities, too. Though I land a certain job from years of searching; however, I immediately quit when I realize I no longer love it. The problem – workplace scenario! Yes, I finished my undergraduate and graduate studies, got some jobs, and decided to quit despite the stern screening in the job application process.

Consequently, I stumble on the Internet. I just learn that online jobs are available and growing. I instantly inform my friends and classmates who have parallel experiences and hardships in finding decent jobs as I am. To tell you this, I manage to apply to various jobs at some of the websites. My friends have jobs now. They land on the stable jobs since they register here:

https://www.onlinejobs.ph/jobseekers/info/218517

Using a viable technology, freelancers can get jobs from different companies abroad. These companies allow them to perform the tasks in the comfort of their home. At OnlineJobs.ph, these graduates and professionals will no longer struggle to fall in line with long queues for job interviews. They only need to explore online job opportunities and earn a living at home. How exciting that is!

Now, to get your salaries, freelancers can get their incomes from their full-time or part-time jobs when they apply for any payment methods, such as PayPal, Wire Transfer, or Payoneer. When you register for Payoneer so that you will have your MasterCard, you need to register the link below as part of the referral program:

http://share.payoneer.com/nav/pwCGxFHgPEPCNhhNkEHWWDc-DCenK6ysS38DVK8VeOCiTTCLnuuVOnBLh8CKQ9xewxp2Rp9fvteNlWN-pTjwMw2

Photo Source: Getty Image