After the incident that happened in Parklands Christian College, Park Ridge. An issue is opened up again about “Academic Freeze” for the succeeding years, being affected by the global pandemic.
About Academic Freeze
According to DailyGuardian, Academic Freeze is the new normal. It can be adopted simply as:
No vaccine, no classes
It is like skipping an academic year (for example: A.Y. 2020-2021) to (A.Y. 2021-2020) without adjusting the academic calendars.
Here are some why YES or why NO to Academic Freeze:
Why Yes to Academic Freeze?
It has always been the words of many students towards the classes amid pandemic.
Academic freeze isn’t what we want, it’s what we NEED.
Aside from the case about the recent diagnosed coronavirus infected worker from a school in Brisbane. There were already cases of students who acquired the virus and tested positive for COVID-19.
Two students was tested positive in Korea last May after schools have reopened.
Philippines has also reported cases of students who tested positive for COVID-19, some have availed the “Balik-Probinsya” Program.
These students are on their way home to their respective municipalities. Aside from that, not all schools may function as school calendar would start (tentative January from SONA 2020), since most schools are temporarily used as a quarantine center (COVID-19 facility).
In Japan, it was reported in Japan Times that the shift to online classes make university instructors drained.
People have also talked about not all individuals have the privilege to attend online class. Many have lost their source of income, even in Australia, unemployment rate will likely to rise as Christmas season approaches.
Online classes if not face-to-face, would also add up to the financial obligations of the parents: Paying for the internet (with unstable connection experiences), requires gadgets and etc. As believed:
The right to education is a basic human right and means every child should be able to go to school.
Moreover, mental health issues as they called coronavirus anxiety is also one of the concerns.
As what was stated in the DailyGuardian:
We don’t have to take risk and sacrifice the hope of the future.
If you are not mentally, financially, physically or even emotionally ready, so it is a YES to Academic Freeze.
Why No to Academic Freeze?
While most are after:
No students left behind, Yes to Academic Freeze
There were others also who would completely disagree to the idea.
One of the insights obtained is from Matt Irasga:
Call for academic freeze is a clear example of crab mentality. Why stop those willing and able to seek education during this pandemic.
Clearly yes, education can wait and what he meant here is that it is okay to not have an academic freeze. If you are a student and believed or assumed that you can not make it this semester, regardless of you can afford or not. You are not forced to enroll.
The uncertainty of the question “What will happen next?” was entangled in the minds of those experiencing the coronavirus anxiety.
It’s been months already after lockdown and quarantine are implemented. The uncertainty that you have in mind is your getaway to accept the new normal.
Most are after the resume of classes right after COVID-19 cases would be flattened. The question here is when?
If educators are doubling their time for an effective blended or any flexible learning, students who they called “Privileged” could still enroll and there’s no reason for an academic freeze.
How about the internet connectivity and availability of gadgets to be used for online classes if not face-to-face mode of education?
There could be many ways to solve the problem: Giving printed materials, Donation drives for gadgets to help with distance learning, Giving away gadgets from kind-hearted people and etc.
Recipients of such ways are counted as students for this academic year. In addition, there were still players of Mobile Legend: Bang Bang (MLBB), DOTA 2 and other online games. Therefore, at least there are still who have connectivity and gadgets somehow.
If you believed that education must go on and not be stopped or skipped, then it is a No to Academic Freeze.
Whether you support or go against academic freeze, safety is still important and health should not be neglected.
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Jeffry Jeve , News Fior Author, is a dedicated Freelance Writer and a Blogger who stays organized as much as possible. He became a writer in Modern Writers PH and a Managing-Editor-in-Chief in a school publication named “The Lightseekers”.