Online learning halt amidst Covid-19, clamor student leaders in PH

In the Philippines, students from the best performing schools have agitated for calling off countrywide online learning called by the Commission of Higher Education (CHED) as the nation deals with coronavirus pandemic.

Petition to the CHED Commissioner

The student leaders took a petition to the commissioner of tertiary education after students voiced their concerns over the online learning matter during the wake of Covid-19. The leaders tendered a humble appeal to the commissioner’s office to conduct its mandate for the issuance of a memorandum concerning the calling off of online studies. The students wanted the commissioner to do away with online learning during the lockdown that was punctuated by a curfew in the Greater Manila area.

The students also noted that there was a need for continued learning but some of their comrades were not in a good position to attend online learning sessions with the lockdown in effect. Efforts to curb the proliferation of the virus have seen Luzon Island go under total lockdown. Government offices and schools have been suspended until 14th April in accordance with the one-month lockdown in the nation’s capital.

Following the lockdown measures, the CHED Commissioner Dr. Ronald L. Adamat directed institutions to provide e-learning as an alternative mode of learning.

Student leaders issues of concern towards suspending online learning

The students put down their concerns in three main issues that they thought would hinder the smooth process of online learning as residents grappled with remaining immune from the viral threat. Internet connectivity came off as a major point of concern facing the learners and those without good connectivity would be left out during the online classes.

The students further reiterated that their counterparts were already suffering from the outbreak psychologically. The students have to adjust to the lockdown measures as they coped with home activities.
The student leaders reiterated that the online sessions were additional workload for them and it beats logic to have a lockdown which necessitates them to assist their abodes with the lockdown.

Lack of proper infrastructure for students to undertake online learning was another challenge that the student leaders cited. The students called for the halting of online learning to allow the learners to take the necessary precautions in combating Covid-19.

Response from universities

The leaders wanted that the online classes should supplement physical schooling as a step towards helping the student adjust and prepare to go back to school. The student governing bodies also called out for adjustments on their academic calendars to accommodate the period of being out of school with more emphasis given to graduating candidates.

In the wake of the pandemic, some universities like Atene de Manila together with Lyceum of the Philippines had terminated their online learning. Other institutions like DLSU in Manila started online learning on March 25th and students were not forced to take part.

Featured image credits: Bing