MANILA – Youth party-list Kabataan on Sunday urged education agencies to ease the workload of students and declare an “academic break” after a series of typhoons ravaged parts of the country in the past weeks on top of the continued coronavirus pandemic.
In a series of Twitter posts, Kabataan Rep. Sarah Elago said easing academic load would help students, faculty members and school personnel affected by storms that recently battered the country, such as Rolly and Ulysses.
“Easing of academic load is necessary to help students and members of faculty and education support personnel affected by the typhoons,” Elago said, addressing the Department of Education and the Commission on Higher Education.
The youth lawmaker also called on both agencies to declare an “academic break” to assess the situation in the education sector, and review faculty and student workload.
In easing workload and declaring a break, schools should also move deadlines for requirements, Elago said.
“Makatwiran lamang ito (easing of load and academic break) sa tindi ng pinsala ng kalamidad sa buhay, bahay, imprastruktura ng internet, komunikasyon at iba pang kailangan sa blended distance education,” she said.
(This is reasonable considering the damage left by calamities to lives, houses, internet infrastructure, communication and other necessities in blended distance education.)
The country’s education system shifted to distance learning – which involves the use of printed and digital modules, online classes, television and radio to deliver lessons to students at home – after government banned in-person classes due to the ongoing threat of COVID-19.
The Ateneo de Manila University has suspended of synchronous and asynchronous from Nov. 16 to 21 to give more time for both students and faculty “to recover from the aftermath of all kinds of disasters,” student publication The Guidon reported on Sunday.
De La Salle University also announced an “easing of academic workload” from Nov. 16 to 21 to help students and faculty members cope from the effects of Typhoon Ulysses, according to The LaSallian.
This means deadline for the submission of coursework in La Salle will resume from November 23 onward, among other measures, the LaSallian reported.
The University of Santo Tomas, likewise, suspended synchronous and asynchronous classes from November 16 to 21.
The Polytechnic University of the Philippines, meanwhile, will be implementing an academic freeze across its campuses in the country from November 16 to 27.
Due to this development, PUP also said it will be extending the first semester of AY 2020-2021 and will be posting the revised calendar as soon as possible.
The CHED earlier called for the suspension of classes in higher education institutions in regions that are still recovering from the impact of Typhoon Ulysses, which inundated large parts of Luzon.
In the past months, many students and teachers have complained of feeling stressed, exhausted and anxious because of excessive workload under distance learning.