Filipinos have raised concern on the mental health of students who face prolonged school closure due to Covid-19 pandemic, according to a sentiment analysis of the social media platform-Facebook gathered during the world’s longest lockdown.
BluePrint.PH, a research and campaigns firm using big data analytics said education is highly discussed among the country’s 80 million Facebook users from March 2020 to January 2021. There were 12.7 million data points (refers to total shares, posts, comments and reactions) gathered about education during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The top Facebook posts on education relate to the deaths by suicide, and by accident of two female students, posted separately on Facebook by the National Union of Students in the Philippines (NUSP).
Eero Brillantes, Chief Executive Officer of BluePrint.PH said the sentiment analysis of Facebook posts during the pandemic reflect the serious problem of mental health of students, and the digital divide between students from poor families and living remote areas and those from affluent families living in urban areas.
“The sentiment analysis on Facebook data points on education during the pandemic can be a critical tool to provide guidance and influence decisions of policy makers to address the pressing issues on education,” said Brillantes.
The post on the death of a 21-year old female student from Iriga City in September 12, 2020 has the highest data points at 196,834, of which 95.8 per cent is ‘sad’ reaction. The victim reportedly complained about the lack of digital gadget for learning, and internet connectivity.
The death of a 20-year old student from Capiz State University, who died while searching for internet signal earned the second highest data points at 148,089, of which 83.8 per cent is ‘sad’ reaction.
The post on “10 Hail Marys campaign” of the Quiapo church in August 12, 2020 earned 77,941 combined “love” and “like” data points. This is widely shared after bishops called the faithful, including those from Catholic schools to pray ten hail Mary’s daily from August 15 to September 15 last year.
The Facebook post about 103 students given stipend by the Mariano Marcos State University in May 9 last year earned the highest “love” reaction. However, the news on government’s decision to hold face-to-face classes in places with low Covid-19 cases earned the highest number of “angry” reactions.
The Department of Education (DepEd) is the main influencer on the topic education during Covid-19 pandemic, with 401 posts over the same period, followed by news sites GMA News and ABS-CBN news which came second and third respectively.
Vice President Leni Robredo’s version of State of the Nation address in July last year earned 50 per cent “love” from its nearly 100,000 reactions. The post on SONA appeared in Robredo’s six posts, which earned 40 to 50% love reactions for each post.