In this September 9, 2021 article for GMA News, Hana Bordey reports on the recent statements made by National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua.
In a Senate hearing on the proposed budget for 2022, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian asked economic managers if data is available on the losses incurred due to the one-year closure of schools. In response, Chua said, “What we are seeing is, the lack of face-to-face classes will limit the learning ability of students and that has a permanent effect over the lifespan of the student while he is in the labor force. With the best data that we have, we have an estimated productivity loss, for the next 40 years, is going to be P11 trillion for the one year when we had no face-to-face schooling.”
This estimate, according to Chua, covers the entire working lifespan of the student.
Editor’s Note: If the Philippine government refuses to reopen schools this year, we are at risk of doubling the already PHP 11 trillion loss incurred for last year. But this is not the only thing that we should worry about.
Studies are showing that one year of lockdowns has a psychological impact on children [see COVID-19 Pandemic Affected Children’s IQ, Lockdowns leave half of teenagers battling anxiety and trauma, see more here: School and Children]. If we continue this illogical policy of keeping children locked down and schools closed, we run the risk of permanently damaging our children.
If we allow things to continue the way they are going, this is the kind of future our children will be facing: a country indebted for generations, a society ridden with fear, various mental health problems, and devoid of freedom. It will be a difficult existence, which will be compounded by their lack of skill and knowledge to handle the societal challenge they will be forced to face.
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