By James Veloso I Published: June 10, 2020
One of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic is the issue of how the youth will pursue education. Given that the government had declared opening of physical classes by August as unlikely, parents have become understandably worried about developing their children’s intellectual and creative skills without exposing them to the new coronavirus.
Some private schools have opted to offer online classes, but the less than satisfactory Internet service as well as high costs meant that many children from poorer communities might still be denied quality education.
SK offer free tutoring
The Sangguinang Kabataan (SK) in Barangay Imok, Calauan, Laguna may have the possible solution for this: a free homeschooling and tutoring services for children affected by the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).
Starting June 7, SK Imok will offer “eSKwelantine 2020: A Home Quarantine Study Program” to students not only from their barangay but also from neighboring villages in Calauan.
“Ginawa namin ang proyekto na ito sapagkat naniniwala kami na hindi natatapos sa loob ng silid-aralan ang pagkatuto ng mga bata. Nais namin na tuluy-tuloy ang pagkatuto ng mga bata kahit na may nararanasan tayong pandemya ngayon,” SK Chair June Aldrin Gunio said. (We came up with the project as we believe education of children should not end in classrooms. Even in this pandemic, children must continue to learn.)
Gunio said as representatives of the youth in their community, SK must help students be honed academically and enhance skills even under community quarantine.
The SK members added the “eSkwelantine” program is designed as an alternative recreational activity and a form of bonding among parents and their children.
Tailor-fit for the crisis
The program was initially planned exclusively for Barangay Imok students.
With the rave feedback and support from various individuals and organizations, the SK was able to expand it to nearby barangays.
SK Treasurer Joseph John Glore said that the “eSkwelantine” program is simply a continuation of an earlier SK project, “Lakbay Aral Project”.
This time, it is tailor-fit for the youth in this pandemic.
The program is divided into two main projects: “Project Bulilit” for day care, pre-elementary and Grades 1 to 3 students; and “Project Techy” for Grades 4 to 6 students, as well as high schoolers.
“Project Bulilit” teaches basic lessons in Math, English, Science and Filipino, while “Project Techy” covers basic concepts in Information, Communication, and Technology.
Mode of learning will be a combination of homeschooling, modular, and asynchronous online distance learning.
SK officers and members have volunteered as teachers. They also welcome teaching volunteers from the other professions.
“We will be doing a house-to-house visitation to enroll the students, to gain the trust of the parents and to raise more awareness of our project,” Glore said.
Laguna Gov. Ramil Hernandez has praised the SK initiative, saying that it could set the standard for future programs to ensure that the province’s youth could still have their education amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Sa ngayon na wala pang kasiguruhan ang pagbubukas ng klase dahil sa pandemic, napakaganda ng hangarin ng mga kabataang ito na hikayatin ang mga mag-aaral na gamitin ng wasto ang kanilang oras habang nasa quarantine,” Hernandez said in his Facebook message. “Nawa, gaya ninyo, ay mas marami pang mga kabataan ang mahikayat na tumulong sa komunidad kahit sa simpleng paraan.” (In this pandemic, there is no guarantee when schools will open for classes. We should encourage students to use their time wisely while on quarantine … We hope that more youth could help in this community effort.)
Interested students, parents and guardians are invited to visit the SK Imok Facebook account for more information.
(With reports from PIA)