The aftermath of typhoons that recently struck our country led some academic institutions and local government units (LGUs) to declare academic breaks, which would allow students, teachers, and employees to recover.
While there were calls for a Luzon-wide and nationwide academic break, the decision to suspend classes to aid recovery efforts should be left to LGUs or the academic institutions based on their assessment of the calamities’ impact on their constituencies, including their capacity to resume classes. Marikina City, for instance, has a month-long suspension of classes in all levels, while class suspensions in the province of Cagayan would last until November 30.
Prior to the opening of classes when some groups were calling for an academic freeze due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I have already warned about its long-term effects such as increased learning losses, inequalities, and exposure to violence, child labor, and teenage pregnancy among others—all of which were observed in crises such as the Ebola outbreak in Africa and Typhoon Yolanda in our own country.
That is why despite all the colossal challenges, we strive to make education continue. I do not see how an academic freeze will help in our aspiration to continue education and mitigate risks associated with prolonged school closures.