With the pandemic happening all over the world, things have changed. Adjustments were observed and called the “new normal.” In my country, the last part of the academic school year and the incoming one are being implemented with online learning. In a third world country, where the internet connection has been proved slow and unreliable and where a big percentage of students do not have access to the modern world, I find this very unfair.
I have seen a post circulating online where a grandmother (around 65-70 years of age) bought a mobile phone for his grandson to be able to attend his online classes. This has gained a lot of praises from different netizens and has been shared to different platforms where people were constantly saying non-verbatim “When there is a will, there is a way.” Instead of these commends, why can’t some open their eyes that this is a clear evidence of inequality?
In the middle of pandemic, obviously the necessities are most needed. Food, clothes and shelter should be prioritized. They are not rich. In fact, the daily wage of workers who earn on a day to day basis in this country are ‘just enough’ to support living. A lot of jobs have also been lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic. So now, how would a third world country adjust to the transition of traditional classes to online learning without the government’s supports and amelioration?
Online classes in the Philippines are for the privileged. These kinds of way are for those who can afford a functioning laptop/computer, a mobile device and a strong internet connection. Without the pandemic, a lot of students have been struggling to go to school (they tend to cross a river and climb a hill to be able to go to school,) so how can I learn without thinking that there are students like me who are left behind because of the current situation?
Since the country has been pushing “blended learning modality,” how sure are them that this is an effective way of learning? Why are officials pushing students to worry about their academic matters when health matters should be prioritized? I get the point that “students can’t stop their education because they need to learn.” I hope they understand that learning is not only achieved solely academically, but there are much greater things to know while taking note of quality over compliance, like how they proposed the adjustment quickly without a concrete plan.
Stop romanticizing inequality. If you are privileged enough to have the ability to speak, please use it in a good way. Use your voice for the voiceless. Fight for other people’s rights when they can’t. This way, you’ll be helping not only yourself for growth, but for taking a step for greater change.