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:

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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.

Virtual Learning Platforms

Will virtual learning platforms replace traditional universities? This inquiry sparks controversy and an answer to whether or not virtual learning platforms will substitute traditional schools. According to Palloff and Pratt (2007), the arrival and the commencement of the advanced technologies, such as the Internet, computers, and websites create some immense online courses. Of course, virtual learning platforms, such as Newrow.Com, Tutorroom.Net, Braincert.Com, E-Lecta.Com, and the like, make the learning activities of the students very stress-free as they will not spend time traveling for their classes. As well, virtual learning platforms are less expensive and students can access online courses through electronic devices. Though there are several expanding virtual learning platforms, these teaching channels cannot replace traditional universities since they do not offer human contacts, because they fail to compete with traditional lectures, and because they do not have well-established learning and teaching experiences.

Virtual learning platforms, despite its prominence in the online domain, do not replace traditional universities. They only supplement traditional universities. When teachers use some of the virtual learning platforms, such as Newrow.Com, Tutorroom.Net, Braincert.Com, E-Lecta.Com, and the like, they only provide alternatives for students “to have new learning and teaching environments” (Palloff & Pratt, 2007, p. 28). However, they cannot substitute traditional classroom lectures since they do not offer any human contacts. For example, students cannot meet their classmates and teachers in person. They cannot even ask direct questions to their teachers “if they have important questions to ask” (Palloff & Pratt, 2007, p. 46). They must wait for days before their online teachers generate answers to their questions. Therefore, virtual learning platforms fail to replace traditional classroom lectures.

As well, virtual learning platforms nosedive their intentions and motives to compete with the traditional classroom lectures. They go amiss to handle with their plausible ideas to teach students based on human interactions. Virtual learning websites, which offer online courses, can invite more students “to begin their online classes and teachings” (Halvorson, Crittenden, & Pitt, 2011, p. 485). However, these students feel busy with their tasks, which makes them decide to take virtual learning classrooms. According to research, the goal of traditional education is to uphold their face-to-face contact as “an important element in teaching” (Halvorson, Crittenden, & Pitt, 2011, p. 486). students and teachers must meet in the middle to discuss questions at the spur-of-the-moment. Without the presence of teachers, students fail to get answers to their questions and may lose the audacity to know the idea.

Moreover, virtual learning platforms as complementary tools in teaching do not have well-established learning experiences. They only substitute teachers temporarily to vary their teaching techniques. In other words, they exist to add variations. Teachers only use and produce enormous online courses to attract more students to take online classes and to take advantage of their benefits (Furió, Juan, Seguí, & Vivó, 2015, p. 189). Unquestionably, they make learning activities easier. They even allow students to browse online classrooms and let them explore “the contents of the sites” (Yang & Liu, 2007, p. 176). As students try to access new files and interactive tools, they study their lessons online and “in the comfort of their homes” (Yang & Liu, 2007, p. 174). Despite the encouraging remarks of virtual learning platforms, the fact reveals that they cannot, by far, supplant and swap traditional universities.

Indeed, virtual learning platforms do not have any chance to replace traditional universities. They may supplement the traditional classroom setups, but they cannot alter how traditional universities do. They cannot eliminate the presence of human beings since they do not have enough ability to dismiss the presence of teachers. Teachers who remain the fundamental forces in the classroom can only provide instructions with their human conduct. And yet the increasing virtual learning platforms only supplement the traditional classrooms and the universities. In other words, virtual learning platforms do completely not replace traditional universities as they, in the end, fail to offer any human contacts, miscarry their goals to compete with traditional classroom lectures, and nosedive to embed the new learning and teaching practices.


Furió, D., Juan, M. C., Seguí, I., & Vivó, R. (2015). Mobile learning vs. traditional classroom lessons: A comparative study. Journal of Computer-Assisted Learning31(3), 189-201.

Halvorson, W., Crittenden, V. L., & Pitt, L. (2011). Teaching cases in a virtual environment: When the traditional case classroom is problematic. Decision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education9(3), 485-492.

Palloff, R. M., & Pratt, K. (2007). Building online learning communities: Effective strategies for the virtual classroom. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.

Yang, Z., & Liu, Q. (2007). Research and development of web-based virtual online classroom. Computers & Education48(2), 171-184.