Students tell their usual house chores and what they miss most about school

With classes abruptly stopped mid-March, many students never had the chance to personally bid farewell to their teachers, classmates and friends nor walked the stage to receive their medals. Many stayed home, helping their parents on house chores.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte declared the entire Luzon under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) on March 16  due to the growing number of people with COVID-19. Nearby provinces in Visayas and Mindanao followed to avoid the spread of coronavirus.

Under ECQ, movement of the public is restricted. Public transportation is temporarily suspended. Businesses with exception on the food and medicine industry and other essentials are ordered closed. Only one house member is allowed to go out to buy necessities and must carry a quarantine pass at all times. Check points are in placed in most entry and exit points in communities and municipal boundaries.  Public gathering such as schools and religious masses are likewise disallowed.

The students, which can only connect with friends through social media or text messages, have been staying home for nearly two months now. Without much to do, they usually spend time by helping their parents do house chores, something that they can only do on weekends, when there are no classes.

Eunice, 18, said that she has been helping in caring for her sick 86-year-old grandmother. “She has cancer and cannot stand. So, I am constantly by her side to attend to her needs,” she said.

Another student, Soc, 17, said he has been enjoying flying kite in their backyard, something he seldom does if there were classes.

In jest, Diego, 17, said he has been doing a lot of rest. “Sleep and eat,” he replied when asked what he had been up to lately.

The students also admitted missing their life in schools. When asked what they missed most, students Fresha, Jericho, Riza, and Charls, all in their teen years, replied: classmates/friends, teachers and studying.  Eunice jokingly added, “I miss going to school late.”

Soc, who ride the bus from his place to his school, misses the jampacked the bus every rush hour. “I miss standing inside the bus in the morning and afternoon. I seldom get a seat,” he said laughing.

While on lockdown, World Vision provides its assisted children’s families with hygiene kits and financial assistance. “We recognize that many of our families, especially in the rural setting, are daily-wage earners who now have little or no income because of the ECQ. While it is beneficial to distribute relief goods, we know that cash is also essential at this time so they can purchase what their families truly need,” Ajab Aram-Macapagat, World Vision Emergency Affairs Director, said.

World Vision also provided families information materials on child protection and well-being to ensure that parents can help their children cope with the stress that the quarantine months may have on the latter.

Formal school opening in the Philippines will start between first Monday of June and last Monday of August both for public and private schools. The Philippines’ Education Secretary Leonor Briones reminded school administrators that physical classroom setting is only allowed after August 24 but subject to requirements and guidelines set by proper authorities.