- With disadvantaged backgrounds
- Living in rural areas
- With disabilities
It also concerns younger students struggling with their reading skills as well.
According to UNICEF, approximately two in five learners continued to experience significant “disruptions to education” till the end of February. This is in reference to the UNESCO data. It showed that while many countries have fully opened schools, 42 countries have partially opened schools, and six countries still have their schools completely closed.
“The chain effect of school closures could be staggering and felt far beyond education. In addition to missed learning, school closures deprive children of the benefits to their safety, health, nutrition, and overall well-being provided by schools. The impacts of school closures are wide-ranging: estimates suggest 10 million more children could fall off-track in early childhood development as a result of early childhood care and education closures in the first 11 months of the pandemic,” UNICEF highlighted.
The Shift Towards the ‘New Normal’
President Rodrigo Duterte’s economic team stated that resumption of in-person classes would significantly increase the windfall from Executive Order (EO) No. 166, which established the Philippines’ “new normal” policies to make COVID-19 endemic or a part of daily life.
According to Karl Kendrick Chua, Secretary of Socioeconomic Planning, “the full benefit of alert level 1 cannot be maximized if the majority of schools are still closed for face-to-face learning.”
“We urgently call for the full resumption of face-to-face learning in areas under alert level 1. We already have most elements in place to enable our full recovery in 2022. The biggest piece missing is our education sector. More than the foregone economic activity, we are concerned for the learning and future productivity of our children. Under alert level 1, children are allowed to engage in leisure and recreational activities for all indoor and outdoor venues, but the most important activity of children — going to school and learning fully — continues to be restricted,” Chua shared.