Manila, Philippines – Amid the resurgence of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines, the Department of Education (DepEd) and Commission on Higher Education (CHED) urged to implement academic ease in all schools nationwide.
The Rise for Education Alliance-High School (R4E-HS) has started a petition on change.org urging DepEd and CHED to implement nationwide academic ease for students in basic education and tertiary level.
As of Monday, January 10, the said petition had 2,429 signatures.
“The student sectors demand a genuine academic break that prioritizes students’ overall health and well-being over the alarming volume of academic workload during the new distance learning mode,” the group said in their petition.
During the academic break, the group said DepEd and CHED could also use this time to “assess the situation and lay out pro-people plans and adjustments in response to the learning environment in which it exists today.”
“Stringent deadlines must be scrapped, both for the students and the teachers, because these impose an expectation that everyone must be able to work at the same pace, which is prejudicial to the different conditions of many where a lot are intensely suffering from the repercussions of the crisis,” said R4E-HS.
Schools, the group taught, should also relax to academic requirements.
“In looking after the general welfare of the populace and prioritizing their health, which includes their mental disposition, the educational system must appropriately adjust its curriculum in allowing for the reduction of workload that is only within the reasonable amount in accordance with consultation with students and teachers, ”explained R4E-HS.
“Thus, easing academic requirements is only within reason, given that the reported workload has greatly affected students negatively, leading to many instances of health deterioration,” he added.
DepEd and CHED were also urged to uphold the “no-fail policy” as an “act of compassion for those who have difficulty with the current way of learning.”
School administrators, the group added, must also worry about lack of accessibility and equity if they want to maintain a fair and equitable education system.
Furthermore, the group is urging the government to distribute P10,000 in student aid to “bridge the economic barriers that widen the crisis of lack of access to distance learning.”
R4E-HS said the distribution of P10,000 financial aid to all students-of which P2,000 will be given to students for five consecutive months-will help with their expenses. in online learning.
Together with the National Union of Students of the Philippines-High School (NUSP-HS), R4E-HS also promotes the safe continuation of physical classes to address learning gaps using distance or remote modalities.