Legaspi: Are students lab rats?

Questions that matter

SOME of our courageous senators are now making noise in the senate to be recognized and become once again pro-people. Most of them are now batting for a back-to-normal or piloting face-to-face classes in “low-risk areas” to take-off the burden from the “poor and busy parents.” Some authorities in education are also welcoming the move for they believe that there is no other best mode than face-to-face learning. So are we making our children laboratory rats?

Jose Rizal once said that the youth is the hope of the fatherland. He is correct because the future indeed belongs to them. Other education thinkers say that education also spells hope for the youth. So, contemporary political and education thinkers are now asking what will be the future of the country, if there is no education (referring to classroom classes).

In the past two decades, classroom education has already been declared as only one among the many learning modalities. This is the reason why pragmatists and phenomenologists say that experience is the best teacher and still existentialists say that not all knowledge could be learned by sitting down and listening to gray-haired doctors and firebrands. When the pandemic came last year, other developed nations did not feel weary of their educational system. They knew what to do. Their basic education has already adopted a home-based module study.

In our case, we feared the coming of the new modalities and got stuck on the traditional classroom teaching. Only some big universities were allowed to offer open or distant modalities but they also have to undergo very strenuous process to obtain such permission. We even still train teachers as “superstar” or the “only most-learned” inside the classroom or even in the community.

The pandemic has forced us to adopt new learning modalities but since we are not prepared, the neo-learning modes are too alien to Filipinos. Parents complained that the functions of the school were passed to them and they do not really know what to do.

Today, we want our children to go back to face-to-face because we believe it to be the best learning modality for them. Even without the assurance of the health safety of children against the Covid 19 virus, we want them to attend school. We want them to be there and not at home, for we believe that they could learn more in school than at home. This idea is good only in normal circumstances. Now, that there are uncertainties on the health and safety of our children at school, shall we subject them to this experiment? Shall we allow our children to become laboratory rats?

We need to make a choice. We could either allow the government to make our children as lab rats or let them stay in a safer environment- our homes. Stay safe and stay home or pilot for face-to-face learning.


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