Written by Kenneth Narag
One of the most serious repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic is the disruption of children’s education. According to UNICEF, over a billion children are affected by this pandemic globally and are at the risk of falling behind as national governments impose school closures. As educational authorities in the country pushes to continue children’s learning while ensuring their safety during this pandemic, the traditional face-to-face or school-based learning will be transitioning to remote learning in the upcoming school year. This means that learning would mostly be done at home while teachers deliver learning content to learners. Recently, the Department of Education (DepEd) has launched DepEd Commons, an online learning platform which contains online review materials to support public school learners. In addition, DepEd is also looking on alternative platforms where learning content can be delivered such as television and radio. Yet, this poses a challenge for marginalized people who cannot access the internet. While classes are set to begin next month, many families are struggling to continue their children’s education due to lack of technologies for home-based learning. As such, finding ways for children, especially the underprivileged, to keep learning amid this pandemic while ensuring their safety is one of the biggest challenges in children’s education amid this pandemic.
The Playhouse Project is a fundraising initiative which aims to bring learning and fun in the homes of public-school children during this pandemic. In the first wave of the initiative, the project was able to generate an adequate amount of funds and donations for the benefit of public-school kids. Aside from basic needs such as grocery packs and hygiene kits, the team had successfully turned over learning and art materials to the Eskwela Kids in Malate, Manila last June. The materials given included printed supplementary learning materials from DepEd Commons as well as coloring books from art donations which highlight safety measures that kids need to know during this pandemic such as wearing masks and proper handwashing.
With the ‘new normal’ in the educational system, many children will need extra support due to inadequate learning materials for remote learning. However, through the help of dedicated teachers and parents, as well as generous sponsors, the children can go through this difficult circumstance.
Every child has the right to learn. Even during this pandemic, every child should be given equal access to quality education. As soon as more people realize this, the better are our chances in making education accessible to every kid during this pandemic, one kid at a time.
The Playhouse Project will continue in its initiative to help more children continue their education with the project’s second wave in Bacoor, Cavite. For the next phase of the fundraising initiative, our beneficiaries are kids from the Public Day Care Center located in Barangay Zapote III . Donation kits and learning materials will be distributed to current students enrolled (kinder) as well as the past students who were enrolled (Grade 1 to Grade 6) to the day care center for the past 5 years. Playhouse Project simply aims to help the teachers and staff of the Public Day Care Center on maximizing the learning experience of the students in the “new normal”.