Philippines: schools reopen after more than two years of closure

Steph Deschamps / August 22, 2022

Millions of children returned to school Monday in the Philippines for the start of the new school year, which for many marked the resumption since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Millions of children returned to school in the Philippines on Monday as the new school year began, marking for many the resumption since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Philippines is one of the last countries in the world to restart full-time, face-to-face classes, with the prolonged closure of classrooms raising fears of a worsening education situation in the country, already in crisis.
After the closure of Philippine schools, a blended learning program was implemented using print materials as well as television and social networking courses. Ahead of the reopening, the government stepped up its vaccination campaign and said it would provide free public transportation for all students until the end of the calendar year.
On Saturday, the government allocated cash to students and parents to help them with their expenses, leading to scenes of disorder outside distribution centers. With the reopening of schools, problems from before the health crisis are resurfacing, from large numbers of students to outdated teaching methods to the lack of essential infrastructure. Even before the pandemic, nine out of 10 Filipino children were not able to read and understand simple text by the age of 10, the World Bank and other agencies said in a recent report. Only 10 countries were worse off, including Afghanistan, Laos, Chad and Yemen.
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