Students clamor for longer academic break amid rising COVID-19 cases, ECQ extension

Published April 5, 2021, 10:17 AM

by Gabriela Baron

Amid the rising coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the country and the extension of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the National Capital Region (NCR) and neighboring provinces, students are clamoring for a longer academic break.


Asynchronous and synchronous classes nationwide were suspended during the Holy Week. However, with the extension of the ECQ in NCR, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal until April 11, students are urging school administrations to extend academic break for at least a week.

Student group Rise for Education Alliance-PUP sought an extended academic break from April 5 to 11 for the entire PUP system.

The group also asked for the extension of submission of modules as the submission will be affected “due to the partner courier service of PUP has limited services to the delivery of modules to the students.”

Rise for Education is a group composed of individuals, organizations, councils, and publications, and universities who believe and clamor for the right for education in the Philippines.

In a statement, University of the East (UE) University Student Council (USC) asked the university to suspend synchronous classes and deadlines of activities until April 8 “to prevent student exhaustion” and give students time to “prepare for major exams in good mental and physical condition.”

“During these times, many of the students are experiencing a shortage in budget since the implementation of the said ECQ affected many livelihoods due to the stricter rules governing the NCR Plus. Many students are concerned that their allowance for their data is now insufficient to survive the upcoming midterm examinations this week,” the statement read.

“Moreover, we can not deny that the mental health of the students are also at stake here since in this time, students’ are with their family in planning how to support their needs given the situation. We believe that during this crisis, students may not be able to focus on their studies especially with the nearing examinations ahead,” it furthered.

Meanwhile, the University Student Government (USG) of the De La Salle University (DLSU) likewise proposed a one-week academic break from April 5 to April 12.

Citing a survey conducted by the USG, 2,263 or over 50 percent of the total respondents were in favor of academic break, while 1,550 students preferred to have academic easing.

“While our current Online Distance Learning has allowed us to continue our education within our homes, it is imperative that we afford our students and the rest of the Lasallian community the opportunity to attend to their household responsibilities and cope with their mental health needs,” the USG said in a letter addressed to the university admin.

“Our learning must not be at the expense of our mental, physical, and family needs, especially during a global pandemic,” it added.

Meanwhile, #AcadEaseNow and #AcademicBreakNow became trending topics on Twitter on Sunday night.