After over a year of distance learning, a students’ group said school closures and unstable Internet connections during online classes “compromise” the quality of education.
This after the World Bank reported that over 80 percent of Filipino students fall below the minimum proficiency levels.
The report was based on three assessments the Philippines participated in: the Program for International Student (Pisa) in 2018, the Trends in International Mathematical and Science Study (TIMSS) in 2019, and the Southeast Asia Primary Learning Metrics (SEA-PLM) in 2019.
“Having felt the dire consequences of school closures and prolonged blended and flexible learning, it has been more than a year and a lot of students have no gadget and internet connections, and module production and distribution remains problematic and delayed,” National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP) National President Jandeil Roperos said.
Citing the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) report, the group said the Philippines has the longest closure of schools in the Asia-Pacific.
“We are one of the countries having the largest number of students impacted by these full school closures,” Roperos stressed.
On Friday, July 2, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the World Bank report is “very disturbing and very alarming.”
NUSP urged Malacanang to create “concrete plans and inclusive steps” in continuing education amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“If they are truly alarmed, then where is the response on this call that long been sounded by the students? This is the challenge to Malacanang: heed the calls of the students and educators! Address the threats to the clear and safe future of students and youth!” Roperos added.