October 29, 2021

The EDA and businesses are pushing for school reopenings to be phased in.

Karl Kendrick Chua, Secretary of State for Socioeconomic Planning, has stressed the need for progressively reopening schools, stating that a prolonged absence of face-to-face classes will have a negative influence on the country’s workforce’s competitiveness and productivity in the future.

Chua said one of the repercussions of face-to-face school closure is less learning among children at a webinar hosted by the Economic Journalists Association of the Philippines (EJAP) on Thursday.

“Online learning is only about 52 percent (as) successful as face-to-face learning, according to US studies,” he said.

He said that in the Philippines, this may be less effective because the country uses alternative types of learning, such as modules, which are believed to be 37 percent as effective as face-to-face teaching.

Chua, who also serves as the director-general of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), has advocated for a gradual return to face-to-face classes to help minimize the long-term effects of remote learning on students’ productivity and mental health.

“Our measures against Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) today have ramifications. Future generations will pay a price, particularly in terms of human capital. We wouldn’t have a complete and objective understanding of what we’re doing today if we didn’t comprehend these,” he remarked.

Rizalina Mantaring, the co-chair of the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) National Issues Committee, highlighted the need to gradually reinstate face-to-face schooling.

“The ADB (Asian Development Bank) estimates that every year a child is out of school results in a 10% decrease in future wages,” she stated.

She went on to say that human capital education and training is a crucial role in determining how a country performs in the future.

“Education could be an area where there isn’t an instant influence. However, it is this sector that will have the greatest impact and influence on how we vote as a country in the future,” Mantaring added.

The country will test limited face-to-face training in locations with low Covid-19 risk next month.

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