The Philippines government has indicated that online classes may be lasting 7 to 8 hours, to recover the time lost due to lockdowns. Education Undersecretary Jesus Mateo said that the plan was devised after the country moved the opening of schools from the scheduled 24th August to October 5th.
However, not everyone was happy with this suggestion and some within the government were willing to speak up and caution the government over such a move.
Objection to 8 hours of online classes
Gatchalian, chair of the Senate committee, said that the government needed to be very careful when considering if they should extend online classes to last for seven to eight hours. He argued that extending these classes would add another layer of stress to students, who are already worn out by the pandemic. He also asked the government to consider families and students, who were just coming out of coronavirus lockdowns and many who had been affected and infected, saying they would have a difficult time studying through online classes for straight eight hours.
The Senator also stressed on the need to have a mental balance for both teachers and students. He said that longer of online classes did not necessarily mean that student’s grasp of lessons would improve, especially when those classes are carried when students are exhausted.
The argument about the devices used for learning was also stressed by the senator, who indicated that it will also be a problem for most students to stare at their computers for more than seven hours without feeling exhausted.
Devices such as mobile phones will also be in use for online classes and the senator conceded that these devices are very small for comfort staring at them. He argued that if these online classes will be more than 7 hours, students will strain their eyes and brain for no reason since they will also not be grasping the lessons being taught, concluding that, that was the reason the country needed to rethink its strategy about online classes.
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