Student leaders want online classes suspended
Student councils of four of the biggest universities in Metro Manila have called on the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) to suspend online classes in higher educational institutions nationwide in lieu of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, citing issues regarding accessibility and learning conduciveness.
“Various concerns have continuously been raised by students on the conduct of online classes, along with different higher educational institutions acknowledging the need for a suspension for the duration of the ECQ [enhanced community quarantine],” the University of Santo Tomas Central Student Council, De La Salle University-Manila University Student Government, University of the Philippines-Diliman University Student Council, and Sanggunian ng mga Paaralang Loyola ng Ateneo de Manila said in their letter of appeal to CHEd on Wednesday.
The student councils highlighted internet connection and availability of devices as one of the problems encountered by students who had to shift to online classes.
“Access to a stable internet connection and learning devices is a privilege up to this day. Surveys conducted within our respective universities ascertain that not all students, including members of the faculty, have access to such,” they wrote in the letter.
The different circumstances of students across universities also challenge the effectiveness of online classes, which could further place students at a disadvantage, they said.
They also noted that students may find it more difficult to focus on academic requirements, as some of them were struggling and tending to household preparations during the pandemic.
“Adding more workload for the students increases their burden and contradicts the purpose of the lockdown, which is to help their families prepare and adjust to the situation at hand,” they added.
Even teachers, they said, may also have trouble addressing each student’s inquiry given their limited resources.
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