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Schools in Philippines remain shut

International 15 Sep, 2021 Follow News

Home schooling for Filipino children is often not ideal

Schools in the Philippines reopened for the new academic year on Monday but millions of children remained at home for a second year of remote lessons that experts fear will worsen an educational “crisis”.

While nearly every country in the world has partially or fully reopened schools to in-person classes, the Philippines has kept them closed since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the United Nation said.

President Rodrigo Duterte has so far rejected proposals for a pilot reopening of primary and secondary schools for fear children could catch Covid-19 and infect elderly relatives.

Misery for schoolkids is compounded by a ban on them playing outdoors. A “blended learning” programme involving online classes, printed materials and lessons broadcast on television and social media was launched last October.

It has been plagued with problems: most students in the Philippines don’t have a computer or internet at home.

More than 80 percent of parents are worried their children “are learning less”, said Isy Faingold, Unicef’s education chief in the Philippines, citing a recent survey.

Around two-thirds of parents support the reopening of classrooms in areas where virus transmission is low. “Distance learning cannot replace the in-person learning,” Faingold said. “There was already a learning crisis before Covid … it’s going to be even worse.”

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