Wenceslao: New normal

Candid Thoughts

THE situation is finally starting to ease up a bit everywhere and not only in Cebu City where the community quarantine has been downgraded, allowing more interaction among people and the reopening of the economy although some of the protocol laid down need to be in place still like the wearing of face mask and the practice of physical distancing.

There are many things uncertain yet under the so-called new normal, including the education of our children. Incidentally, my son graduated from senior high school the other day but he was not on the stage, nor did we his parents pose for the usual photos after the ceremony. But he wore his toga and sash and posed for the camera days before that. His graduation consisted of us waiting for the pre-produced “show” to be posted on YouTube.

The joke is, of course, on how celebrations would be done after. In our case, nothing. No lechon, no eating in restaurants. Cebu City Councilor Joel Garganera hoped via Messenger that even if this was virtual graduation, the lechon should not also be virtual.

The batch where my son belongs has been the recipient of government experimentation. He actually would have already been two years in college under the old curriculum but K-12 happened. Now we are studying options that include him postponing his college education again. Sad.

Virtual education? A survey done by a friend who also teaches in college showed this kind of learning is expensive. You spend for the gadgets and the internet connection, which is expected. But schools may be on the verge of making a killing, too. Courses that include this form of education is expensive. My friend’s suggestion? The Commission on Higher Education (Ched)should regulate well.

My younger son will be in his second year in junior high school. He is at the mercy of the Department of Education, which is in experimentation mode. He is in one of the science schools in the region and could not escape its grasp. The alternative would be one of those expensive private schools.

I say our decision to give a bit of a freedom to our son to spend much of his time online may have, sort of, paid off because he now just have to shift his attention during a certain stretch of the day from online games to his classes. He won’t have a problem with those high-tech gadgets.

The problem would be on the online connection. We tried recently to find an upgrade to our internet connection but failed. We would have preferred a shift from Wi-Fi to a wired connection. But our house is in the interior of the community and connecting to a network would require the lines to pass the roofs of the houses of neighbors. The telecom network, said the contractor, does not allow that.

That means we will have to spend for the setting up of at least four posts for the lines, which I thought was rather expensive. We are still studying our options but whatever we do, the telecom firms will be profiting from it. That’s the so-called “new normal” for you.


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