Published: 2:33 am August 10, 2020 | Updated: 6:18 am August 18, 2020
FEU High School (FEU HS) is one with the national government in the belief that education must continue. FEU HS has adopted ways and means to allow our struggling students to continue their education by lowering its fees and offering scholarships and financial assistance to deserving students.
In May 2020, DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones announced that education will continue this August despite the threats of COVID-19. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared last March that the world had entered a global pandemic due to the spike in the number of cases across nations. The global economic sector had already suffered significant losses and the education sector was not been spared. According to UNESCO1, 194 nations have implemented a country-wide school closure. This affected 91.3% or 1.5 billion enrolled learners at basic and tertiary levels. The global movement to close schools was in response to the continuing threats of virus spread in the absence of a vaccine. In the Philippines alone, where there are around 27 million basic education students and an average of 50 students in a classroom, physical distancing would have been problematic and a Ground 0 for virus spread. Despite the status quo, why did Sec. Briones stand firm in the reopening of classes in August?
When schools close, children stop learning. This could do more harm than good. Children tend to lose their habit of learning without the external stimuli from the routines of school. They are prone to forget what they learned and how to learn. This is especially true with children in the marginalized sector who have the least advantage when it comes to accessing quality educational support and tools, pandemic or no pandemic. Already behind their peers when it comes to learning due to a lack of resources and pre-existing challenges regarding their education, for families and children living in poverty, education is the surest way to get out of that vicious cycle and achieve a better life.
This disruption in education does more harm than good for poor children and families. The national government in developing countries work hand in hand with schools to address the global concern on child malnutrition through feeding programs and low-priced nutritious food prepared in public schools. When children stay at home, they are more exposed to child abuse, sexual predation, and exploitation. Furthermore, due to the economic crises experienced by poor families, child labor is imminent. This further increases higher dropout rates when schools re-open. When students drop out and work at an early age, they miss opportunities in acquiring more income in the future.
At the beginning of August 2020, UNESCO reported that 88 out of 194 nations have reopened its schools. Around 30% of affected learners have gone back to school in a blended and remote set up. For developing countries such as the Philippines, reopening schools in remote and flexible mode is challenging. The internet connectivity fiasco has put the education sector in a more difficult situation, more so for poor families who are least prepared to participate in this new learning set up. Shutting down schools has been proven to widen the societal inequities putting the most vulnerable sectors in a much difficult status in society, continuously being trapped in the vicious cycle of poverty.
FEU High School (FEU HS) is one with the national government in the belief that education must continue. FEU HS has adopted ways and means to allow our struggling students to continue their education by lowering its fees and offering scholarships and financial assistance to deserving students. With the FEU High School Learning Experience (FEULE), powered by our most improved Learning Management Environment, we recognize the infrastructure struggles of our community and have thus implemented a mode of learning that is equitable to our school community and does not compromise the quality of learning.