Not everyone favors the idea of online school classes generated by the onslaught of the current COVID-19 pandemic which has prompted the government to impose stringent community lockdowns.
House Ways and Means chair Albay Rep. Joey Salceda has branded the idea as anti-poor as he advised the Commission on Higher Education against it.
Student groups have also voiced their opposition to online classes, saying it will disenfranchise poor students especially those “who do not have internet access, let alone computers and gadgets.”
“Doing education online is socially unjust because of the digital divide,” Salceda said
“Online classes will have little impact on learning transmission given the slow and unstable internet, and poor results in residual knowledge given the crisis," he added.
Salceda, who also sits as co-chairman of the House Economic Stimulus Response Package Cluster, said schools may be compeling students to do virtual classes to justify the collection of tuition and other fees, added expenses to families whose heads and members are already unemployed due to the imposition of community lockdowns.
“There are two million students enrolled in private schools. With almost three months of no work and no income, 90 percent of parents and working students can’t pay to finish the second semester,” Salceda said.
The lawmaker said he will file the Economic Stimulus Act that is set to provide Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES) to all non-TES college students provided schools do not impose online classes.