MANILA - The education sector could lose trillions over the next 40 years due to the present and long-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to face-to-face schooling, school closures and teachers' job losses, data from the National Economic and Development Authority released Monday showed.
Losses for the school year 2020 to 2021 are estimated to be at P230 billion and P10.8 trillion in the next 10 to 40 years or a total estimated cost of COVID-19 on education at P11.025 trillion over the next 40 years, NEDA data showed.
NEDA said the computation is based on at least one full year of school closure and a less effective online and module-based learning and its impact for over 40 years or the average working life of a person.
Since the pandemic began, at least 865 private schools have reportedly closed down, NEDA said. Almost 60 percent of families have one parent who skips work to teach their children which resulted in 25 percent foregone wages, a NEDA survey showed.
A US study showed that online learning is only about 52 percent as effective as face-to-face while module learning is even less effective at 37 percent, the agency said.
Schools in the country closed in March 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic pushed the government to impose a total lockdown that debilitated not just the education sector but the economy in its entirety.
Online and module-based learning have been in effect in the Philippines since October 2020. The Philippines is one of the few countries globally which are yet to resume face-to-face classes.
But according to NEDA there is evidence to support the reopening of face-to-face classes.
“Globally, there is evidence that children are only mildly affected by COVID-19 and rarely infect their teachers," NEDA said.
NEDA also said there are only 3 million households in the country, or 12.5 percent, where children and seniors live together.
No other country in East Asia has shut down face-to-face learning for an entire year, NEDA said.
President Rodrigo Duterte on early Monday has approved the trial for limited face-to-face learning.
with reports from Warren De Guzman and Jaehwa Bernardo, ABS-CBN News