The success of the clamor for #AcademicBreakNow shows the need for education stakeholders to speak out
Today, January17, marked the beginning of the so-called “academic break” for many teachers and students alike as declared by certain Department of Education (DepEd) regional offices, local government units, and school administrators around the country.
Last January 13, the regional director of DepEd Region IV-A declared a two-week academic break for students in public elementary and high schools in the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizan, and Quezon. The following day, the regional director of DepEd-NCR also announced a week-long academic break for public elementary and high schools.
Some local government leaders went a step further by suspending classes in all levels in their respective constituencies for a one-week period including Manila Mayor and presidential candidate Isko Moreno Domagoso and Mayor Marcelino Teodoro of Marikina City. The administration of some schools including that of De La Salle University, Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Xavier School also announced academic breaks for their respective institutions.
While these are all positive developments, we should look at things from a wider perspective. Given the current situation where COVID-19 cases are still surging and the country recording record-high active cases every day, more DepEd regional officers, local government leaders, and school administrators should have announced an academic break. It is hoped that they will do so in the coming days.
The recent push for #AcademicBreakNow shows the need for education stakeholders to speak out on matters relevant to them, especially since education authorities are often out-of-touch with the reality on the ground. Remember, it is not likely for education authorities to suspend classes due to the current COVID-19 surge on their own.
It mattered that students and teachers alike took to social media to share how they are being affected by the resurgent health crisis – even creating petitions! It also mattered that organizations like the Alliance of Concerned Teachers amplified this issue, until it reached the awareness of policy makers. Kung walang mag-iingay, walang mangyayari!