An Argument Against Academic Freeze. The Essay About Covid 19 and its Impact on Studying
The year is 2020, and the danger and fear from the COVID – 19 pandemic looms over the countries. Whilst frontliners work hard to meet the needs of our society, and politicians develop policies to improve the current situation, a different issue troubles the many people involved in education. While DepEd wants to continue the school year by using distance learning, 359,000 people nationwide have proposed in an online petition an academic freeze. My question for these people is simple: who is actually going to benefit from such a policy?
Supporters of the academic freeze justify their opinion by stating that many are ill-equipped for distance learning. Not every student has a stable internet connection if they have any at all. Moreover, most do not even have the devices to use the internet in the first place. If they do decide to choose offline alternative methods such as by modules, that would still be increased financial pressure that comes from the delivery fee of said modules. Most of all, even if we presume that the student has the capabilities to engage in alternative learning modalities, these methods might not be efficient because of the different learning environments.
The truth of the matter is, these points are all valid. None of them are inherently incorrect, but despite that, I object to the academic freeze. Yes, many families cannot afford education. Yes, only the middle and upper class have the privilege to study during this pandemic. So what? Distance learning is not mandatory. If your family can not support it, then you can choose to skip the school year. The choice is in the hands of the people, and if the family can afford it, then why should they be stripped of their choice? Even if not everyone can study, it is still far better than the alternative. Either some people get to study, or everyone doesn’t.
Besides, if an academic freeze does occur, what about our workforce? For the K-12 students, the impact isn’t as large, but for college students, delaying the school year would mean delaying the production of doctors and other professionals. With the current lack of health workers, we cannot afford to further lessen the workforce.
The teachers’ livelihoods are at stake as well. Thousands of jobs across the country would be lost. If the academic freeze goes through, then instead of simply helping students, more funds need to be reallocated for the families without income.
Even more, what if the professionals cannot produce a vaccine quickly? What if the virus mutates further, and they take 1-3 years more to find a cure? Those are not just 1-3 extra years of “no classes”; those are 1-3 years where no new professionals can join the workforce. It is simply not economically viable to have an academic freeze if such a situation occurs.
In conclusion, although not everyone may be able to participate in distance learning, an academic freeze should be a last resort. An academic freeze would inhibit education and be economically unviable due to the loss of jobs and production of professionals such as doctors.
It may be imperfect, but distance learning is the best option. If the family cannot afford it, they shouldn’t worry about keeping up, as it is not necessary. The choice is in the people, and if they think that the cons outweigh the pros, they can choose not to.
Education is and has always been the greatest weapon of a country. Together we will recover, and an academic freeze would only be a hurdle to our recovery.