Academic freeze is like giving up and flipping the table during a board game at the slightest sign of hardship.
Disasters affect most of the classes and school activities. Households wait for the official announcement if classes are suspended or not during. The question is, Is academic freeze a solution to the problem?
We are in the virtual age, yet the system is the same. After Typhoons Siony, Tonyo, and Ulysses there's a clamor for an academic freeze or cessation of education activities. Most people think that the pandemic, disasters, and pressures in the unprepared educational system overwhelmed the students.
Sure! Breaks are acceptable, especially in the areas affected by the disasters. Department of Education has rejected canceling the school year for an academic freeze and insists that it will do more harm than good.
“It does not take into consideration the adjustments that would have to be made for the succeeding school year if we continue to prolong the already four months of interruption of the learning process for this school year (academic freeze),” said DepEd Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan.
At the risk of sounding like a curmudgeon, I Think the oldies at DepEd are right. In the flooded areas, places without power and internet. Academic freeze should be automatic.
We face an unprecedented crisis almost every day of our lives. No one is downplaying the effects of the pandemic and natural disasters on students’ physical and mental health. Still, it’s arrogant to assume other people's hardships and impose a solution to a complex issue. Call for an academic freeze everywhere else in the country too far.
The DepEd might have its faults and I believe they are doing their best to ensure that students get the education they need.
For an instance we had people rise against Harry Styles on the cover of a magazine, the depiction of physically deformed people in Anne Hathaway’s new movie, white “sand” dumped over the stink of Manila Bay; heck, people have been up in arms over the new RC Cola commercial, calling it offensive to families who adopt.
There are some things worth our outrage, and it’s good to use our voice in social media to defend the voiceless and bring attention to issues that might not see the light.
“But here’s an idea: how about we try not expending all our energy yelling at our digital screens at every little thing that ticks us off and triggers our fury button?”
We don’t have to be offended by the issue du jour, tous les jours. So Sia decided to cast non-autistic people in her new movie. If that speaks to you personally, then @ her on socials. If you’re just jumping on the bandwagon, that concludes how empty your life is. Insert that “People are dying, Kim” GIF here.
It’s so easy for us to do virtue signaling (An act of being self-righteous in front of others while not living and upholding these beliefs.) in the comfort of our homes, but the reality is only a few take virtual activism to real life.
That takes us right back to the students whose campaigning for the academic freeze for the sake of their mental health. They may have a point but it seems to us that giving in to these demands would be a cop-out.
“It’s like giving up and flipping the table during a board game at the slightest sign of hardship or defeat.”
There are many things to fix in our educational system—questionable modules, overworked teachers, flawed processes, just to name a few. In conclusion, Insisting on an academic freeze is pointless and rebuilding our educational system is our ultimate dream until that happens. There’s no reason we should put education on hold in order to capitulate to the demands of the privileged.
Words Matt Leopoldo
Art Matthew Fetalver