Headshot Young Girl

Maria Andrea De Guzman

VIA21

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Challenge

The Philippines has been in distance learning for the past two school years and while teachers, students, and educators have learned leaps and bounds on how best to navigate distance learning with the many different platforms available, there is one school stakeholder that seemingly lags behind -- parents and primary caregivers. I see that this is especially challenging for parents who come from underprivileged backgrounds, with little to no education, are struggling to make ends meet for their families, and much more, not have the resources to access knowledge that is readily available for everyone. In the May 2021 survey of the Social Weather Station, 39% of families in the National Capital Region of Metro Manila live below the poverty line. This figure grows as you move outside of Metro Manila, with as much as 59% in the Mindanao region. The statistics imply that this many families also have little knowledge on how to empower themselves through education. And, while they may have some inkling on what education and technology can offer, it is more than likely that they do not have the resources to equip themselves. It is also likely that most of these parents and primary caregivers would shy away from asking, even if they have questions -- it is the sad truth that poverty often causes even more poverty, exacerbating the vicious cycle that we see too often and continues to be a challenge to us today.