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?

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