Parents worry about costs of returning to face-to-face classes amid rising prices (2023)

MANILA, Philippines – To make ends meet, 51-year-old Lorenza Sua-an is selling products online, which she sources from her friends because she does not have enough capital. The meager salary of her husband, who works as a church caretaker and earns P6,000 a month, is not enough tofeed seven family members living with them. Of these, five are still studying.

“Maliit lang po ang kita ng asawa ko dito sa simbahan. Hindi pa nga po makasapat ng isang linggong pagkain,” Sua-an, who hails from Ibaan, Batangas, told Rappler in a phone interview. (My husband’s income here in the church is small. It’s not enough for our food expenses for one whole week.)

Sua-an earns P10 to P15 for every product (clothing or food) she is able to sell. “Bawat araw na maka-P15 ako ay okay na rin kaysa wala,” Sua-an said. (Each day, I earn P15. It’s better compared to nothing.)

But things will get more difficult for the Sua-an family financially when face-to-face classes resume on November 2. While Sua-an favors the return to in-person classes, rising prices of basic commodities is now a major consideration for financially struggling families like hers.

In her first order as education secretary, Vice President Sara Duterte directed all public and private schools in the country to transition to five days of face-to-face classes beginning November 2. Exemptions can, however, be given in “very specific areas” where blended learning can continue. The Department of Education (DepEd) said it would give the list of areas after their assessment before October 31, also the last day of the transition period.

“Sa totoo lang po, ako po ay pabor na pabor sa face-to-face classes. Hindi ko po kasi masyado maipaliwanag na kapag dumating sa akin ang mga modules,” she said, recounting the times she scratched her head whenever her children asked for help regarding their lessons. (READ: Parents bear the brunt of distance learning as classes shift online)

(Honestly, I am in favor of face-to-face classes. I can’t explain well to my children their learning modules.)

Sua-an said that before the pandemic, she would give her two children, who were in their junior high school back then, P50 for their daily school allowance and P30 for three others, who were grade schoolers. But now, she worries that these won’t be enough for her children to get by each day in school.

“Sa ngayon kasi ang mahal ng bilihin at pamasahe. Ngayon, P20 na ang pamasahe one way. Hindi ko alam kung may mabibili pa sila sa baon nilang P50,” she said. (Now, prices of commodities and transportation fare are high. Now, P20 is just one-way fare. I don’t know if they will be able to buy something for P50.)

Sua-an is certainly not the only parent thinking of the costs of the return to face-to-face classes. Some 18 kilometers in Ibaan, 45-year-old Wilma Urbano from Lipa City, Batangas, is also worried about how her family of six would be able to cope with the financial burden of sending their children to face-to-face classes.

(Video) Parents struggle with child care costs amid rising inflation

While she is somehow in a better financial position compared to Sua-an, Urbano still finds it hard to fulfill the needs of her five children for their education.

Urbano works as a public school teacher but her income is still not enough to feed her family. Her husband works as building maintenance.

“Ako po ay natatakot. Every time na mag susuweldo is Mister, hindi ko na alam paano pagkasiyahin ang suweldo,” said Urbano, when she was asked how she plans to budget their finances when face-to-face classes resume. (I am worried. Every time my husband receives his salary, I don’t know anymore how I will be able to budget it.)

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, the country’s inflation rate jumped to 6.1% in June. The last time inflation went up this high was in November 2018.Inflation refers to the general increase in prices and fall in the purchasing value of money.

National Statistician Dennis Mapa said that the purchasing power of thePhilippine pesohas declined. He said that P1 in 2018 is now worth just P0.87 in June 2022. (READ: IN CHARTS: This is how inflation ruined Filipinos’ budget in June 2022)

Poor families need gov’t help

Sua-an hopes that the government will help poor families like them. While her family is a member of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps, this is still not enough for their daily needs.

4Ps isthe government’s poverty reduction strategy that gives financial help to extremely poor households to improve their health, nutrition, and education, particularly of children aged 0-14. The 4Ps has two types of cash grants that are given to beneficiaries.

  • Heath grant: P500 per household every month, or a total of P6,000 every year
  • Education grant:P300 per child every month for ten months, or a total of P3,000 every year (A household may register a maximum of three children for the program.)

“Sana matulungan kami ng gobyerno sa financial help kahit pang-kapital lang para may sarili na ako at hindi na ako kukuha ng paninda sa mga kaibigan ko. Malaking tulong ‘yon para at least alam ko kung saan ako kukuha ng pandagdag sa pambaon ng mga bata sa school,” she told Rappler.

(I hope the government can help us financially even just to provide capital for my online business so that I would have my own and I wouldn’t need to get products from my friends. It will be a big help and at least I would know where to source funds for my children’s school allowance.)

For Urbano, she hopes that the government would strengthen its school-based feeding program to cover all students, not just those undernourished. This way, she only needs to give her children daily transportation allowance.

(Video) Parents and students reevaluate college costs amid virtual learning

“Malaking tulong po ‘yon. Kasi pamasahe na lang ibibigay ko ‘pag nagkataon,” Urbano added. (It will be a big help. Because if that happens, I only need to give them transportation allowance. She has five children who are still studying.)

While the government would offer free rides to students when classes resume, it will be limited to Metro Manila only. There are no plans yet if this would be replicated in the provinces, like Batangas where Sua-an and Urbano live. (READ: DOTr to offer free train rides for students, extends EDSA Carousel buses)

In 2018, two years before the pandemic struck, then-socioeconomic planning secretary Ernesto Pernia said that an average Filipino family of five would need an income of P42,000 to live above the poverty line.

High time return to in-person classes

The return to face-to-face classes was long overdue for the Philippines as the current distance learning setup seemed to be not working for the country’s unprepared education system. (READ: Distance learning in the Philippines: A year of hits and misses)

There have been studies that showed students are “learning less” under the distance learning setup. Experts and lawmakers were alarmed by the learning losses brought by the pandemic.

“We have always maintained that considering the low level of learning, our students’ need to catch up, and psychosocial needs of our children, we need to shift to face-to-face classes like almost all of the countries in the world. We shouldn’t also disregard the lessons from the past two years,” Philippine Business for Education executive director Love Basillote said.

Over two years into the pandemic, the Philippines is among the few countries in the world where schools have not fully opened for in-person classes. As of May 3, there were about 26,344 schools nationwide that held in-person classes last school year.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, July 27, DepEd spokesperson Michael Poa said that they are optimistic that almost all schools would be able to hold face-to-face classes for school year 2022 to 2023. There are approximately 60,000 public and private schools in the country.

School begins on August 22. They are given three options for their transition to five days of face-to-face classes before November 2.

  • Five days of face-to-face classes
  • Blended learning
    • Three days of in-person classes and two days of distance learning, or four days of in-person classes and one day of distance learning
  • Full distance learning

The DepEd said that these options will be implemented by schools only until October 31, 2022.

(Video) Food banks under pressure amid high inflation and rising costs


While it is high time for Philippine schools to return to face-to-face classes, Sara Duterte’s order drew criticism for supposedly not having sufficient health protocols in place.

But for the Vice President, Filipinos are more than prepared now since it has been over two years since the pandemic began.

“The difference now is that it’s easier now for Filipinos to live through the pandemic, they already accepted the mandatory wearing of face mask. They already know the basic health protocols. They already memorized these protocols because the government has been stressing its importance for two year now,”Duterte said. (READ: Young students tend to take off masks in face-to-face classes – DepEd)

Speaking to Rappler during a protest action against President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s first State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, July 25, Alliance of Concerned Teachers secretary general Raymond Basilio said the government needs to show parents and students that the county is ready to return to face-to-face classes.

He criticized DepEd order 34 for supposedly excluding health protocol plans in schools for in-person classes.

Naiintindihan natin ‘yung agam-agam ng mga magulang at mga estudyante kasi may pandemya pa rin eh. Kaya ang kailangang gawin ng gobyerno ay ipakita nito sa sambayanan na ligtas ang pagbabalik eskuwela,” Basilio said.

(We understand the concern of parents and students because there’s still a pandemic. That’s why the government needs to prove to the public that it is now safe to go back to school.)

While Marcos said a lot of “promising” plans for the education sector during his SONA, he offered no details on his administration’s concrete plans for the safe return of students to schools. (READ: Are PH schools ready for face-to-face classes during pandemic?)

“Namomoroblema nga ang mga teachers. Wala ng alcohol. Ang thermometer na stuck sa 36.1 kasi wala ng baterya. Burado na ang mga foot markers. Kaya naiintindihan namin ang mga magulang,” said Vladimer Quetua, a senior high school teacher in Quezon City.

(Teachers are worried. We’ve run out of alcohol supplies. Thermometers are stuck at 36.1°C because there are no more batteries. Foot markers have also been erased. That’s why we understand the concerns of parents.)

There are still three months left before the country fully returns to face-to-face classes, and parents, students, and teachers have one wish: for the government to make them feel it’s safe to go back to their campuses. – with reports from Almira Coleen and Ashley dela Vega/

Almira Coleen and Ashley dela Vega are Rappler interns.


What are the problems of face to face classes? ›

The disadvantages of face to face learning
  • Face-to-face tuition can be quite expensive.
  • You will have to pay for your textbooks.
  • Commuting.
  • Scheduling.
  • Organizing and managerial costs.
  • Professor cost.

What does DepEd say about face to face classes? ›

Face-to-face classes will be mandatory for public, private schools this SY — DepEd. Public and private schools that offer basic education are expected to implement face-to-face classes this incoming school year (SY) 2022-2023, the Department of Education (DepEd) said.

Why should we go back to face to face classes? ›

The Advantages of Face to Face Learning in the Classroom

You can access more information and richer understanding through teacher and other students' body language and voice. You have the opportunity to connect with, problem-solve, and network with other students from a wide range of backgrounds.

Is DepEd ready for face to face classes 2022? ›

Starting November 2, 2022, all public and private schools shall have transitioned to five days in-person classes. After the said date, no school shall be allowed to implement purely distance learning or blended learning except for those that are implementing alternative modes,” the DepEd order read.

Which is better face to face learning or online learning? ›

In many ways, online learning is more effective than face to face learning. As research shows 80% of organizations believe their use of digital learning will remain the same, increase or decrease only slightly as restrictions on live training ease.

Why face to face learning is better than online learning? ›

Face-to-face education is better than online education since it boosts interpersonal interaction between students and their instructors, encourages students to connect with others and learn how to socialize with different people, and there is less distraction.

What is the importance of face to face classes essay? ›

Face to face allows students to have instant gratification with answers and help. When a student is in class they can ask questions while it is fresh on their mind or help with a particular problem. If the student was at home online they would have to wait for the instructor to email them back.

Should face to face classes be allowed? ›

The benefits of in-person and face-to-face schooling now outweigh the risk of COVID-19 infections. Face-to-face classes boost academic performance, improve on mental health and well-being, and help develop social engagement skills.

Why are face to face classes not allowed in this school year? ›

Due to the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, face-to-face classes were not allowed in school years 2020-2021 and 2021-2022.

Do students prefer face to face learning? ›

According to researchers, 65 percent of students preferred in-person instruction, compared to 18 percent who prefer a hybrid model and 9 percent who reported they'd rather learn remotely.

Why is face to face learning better than online in the Philippines? ›

“Face-to-face attendance in school will allow children to develop their cognitive and social skills experientially,” it said. “F2F promotes physical and mental health and well-being.

What are the challenges being encountered by the schools amid the Covid 19 pandemic? ›

Students have been affected psychologically by school closures, lack of equipment to participate in courses, being unable to access online materials from home and being unable to leave home for a long time (Apriyanti, 2020).

How are schools ready for face-to-face classes? ›

Follow the school's protocols

Schools, as public spaces, follow IATF Covid-19 guidelines. They also have their initiatives such as providing hand washing stations, ensuring proper ventilation, and setting up physical barriers, markers and signages, thermal scanners, and air purifiers.

What is limited face-to-face classes meaning? ›

Limited face-to-face classes will be conducted by qualified higher education institutions (HEIs) for effective delivery of related learning experiences among the graduating students aged 20 years old and above. Limited face-to-face delivery by the higher education institutions is not mandatory.

What is the meaning of face-to-face classes? ›

Face-to-Face - Students meet with the instructor at regularly scheduled times (synchronous learning), primarily in a classroom. Students in face-to-face courses will normally be expected to be physically present for all or part of the term/semester (will have classroom and day/times).

Is online learning more effective than classroom? ›

Online learning is great for those who want to manage studies with work and other life activities. With adjustable schedules and less burden, they can learn with ease. Classrooms require more discipline and active participation. Teachers get greater command over students in a traditional learning environment.

Is online learning as good as face to face learning do you agree write an argumentative essay on this topic? ›

While both online and face-to-face learning can have components of both student-led and teacher-led curriculum, online study lends itself better to student-led advancement and learning. In online study, students can decide for themselves what they want to dig deeper on, and spend more time learning.

What are the disadvantages of online learning for students? ›

Disadvantages of Online Learning
  • Online Learning May Create a Sense of Isolation. Everyone learns in their own manner. ...
  • Online Learning Requires Self-Discipline. ...
  • Online Learning Requires Additional Training for Instructors. ...
  • Online Classes Are Prone to Technical Issues. ...
  • Online Learning means more screen-time.
28 Dec 2021

What do you think are the disadvantages of face to face modality? ›

Timings of classes have to be strictly followed by the students. Students face difficulties balancing their part time jobs, hobbies and classes at the same time. Pace of learning – Pace of learning is determined by the teachers and not the students in classroom learning.

What is the main advantage of classroom training? ›

Advantages of Classroom Training

It allows you to teach employees in a safe, quiet, clean environment, away from the noise and pressures of the work area. Training groups can be large or small. The classroom environment provides the important “human touch,” which is often missing in technology-based training.

What is the difference between face to face learning and online learning essay? ›

Face-to-face learning methods usually only involve traditional learning materials such as textbooks and lecture notes. An online learning session is more interactive in comparison, with many different types of training.

Why Traditional classes are better than online? ›

Regular attendance in classes helps them interact with other individuals of their own age, be better disciplined, follow a regular schedule, and improve their physical fitness and mental alertness. Classroom learning helps students and teachers know each other in a better manner.

Do students prefer face to face or online learning Philippines? ›

Based on the survey, 86% from the National Capital Region, 94% from Luzon, 97% from Visayas, and 97% from Mindanao want face to face classes to resume. The survey also showed that 85% from Classes ABC are in favor of the idea, 96% from Class D, and 92% from Class E.

What do you know about progressive expansion of face-to-face classes What is the present status? ›

February 2, 2022 – Given the President's approval of the recommendation for the progressive expansion of face-to-face classes, Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones has authorized all regional directors to commence the progressive expansion phase of face-to-face classes for both public and private schools.

How pandemic affect education in the Philippines? ›

The Philippines is one of the five countries in the world that have not started in-person classes since the pandemic began, affecting the right to learn of more than 27 million Filipino students.

How many schools are doing face-to-face classes in the Philippines? ›

In SY 2021-2022, 76 percent of schools implemented face-to-face classes, based on DepEd's data. “We're hoping for a higher number than that this year so we will see,” he added. As of Aug. 19, Poa said that 24, 175 or 46 percent of schools nationwide will conduct five days of in-person classes.

What are the challenges students face in school? ›

Some school problems you might worry about include:
  • finding schoolwork difficult, or having problems concentrating in class if others are noisy and disruptive.
  • exam stress.
  • tricky relationships with friends and friendship groups.
  • finding lunchtime difficult, particularly if you have eating problems, anorexia or bulimia.

What are the challenges being encountered by the schools amid the COVID-19 pandemic? ›

Students have been affected psychologically by school closures, lack of equipment to participate in courses, being unable to access online materials from home and being unable to leave home for a long time (Apriyanti, 2020).

What is the cons of face to face? ›

Face-to-face conversation is not effective in communicating with large audiences. It is very hard to get a message across to huge gatherings. Even though the narrator is addressing them face-to-face, the essential personal touch is missing. In the deficiency of reasonable feedback, his speech lapse into a monologue.

What are the challenges you encountered during your first teaching? ›

10 Challenges Of Teaching & How To Overcome Them
  • Understanding the different learning challenges amongst students. ...
  • Student family problems & bullying. ...
  • Lack of funding. ...
  • Lack of effective communication. ...
  • Being encouraging and motivating under challenging times. ...
  • Disciplining students. ...
  • Endless paperwork & extended working hours.

What's the biggest challenge that students face today? ›

The Top Three Challenges Students Face
  • Financial. Most students can't write a personal check or dip into a savings account to pay for tuition, books, and other educational expenses. ...
  • Managing Commitments. Balancing work, school, and family is another major challenge students face. ...
  • Academic Preparedness.
14 Feb 2022

What is the biggest problem facing education today? ›

The biggest problem facing education today is the lack of innovation and mobility in higher education. Because of a number of private and public factors, colleges and universities have turned into massive private businesses with multi million dollar athletic departments and multi billion dollar endowments.

What are the major problems facing families today? ›

Challenges Facing Families
  • Abuse.
  • Addiction.
  • Communication Issues.
  • Divorce.
  • Grief.
  • Parenting.
  • Pornography.
  • Same-Sex Attraction.

What challenges are you currently facing amidst the on going pandemic How do you deal with these challenges? ›

Self-care suggestions
  • Eat a healthy diet - watch out for overeating and over drinking, which are common coping mechanisms in times of stress.
  • Get as much fresh air and daylight as possible. ...
  • Make sure you are getting enough good quality sleep - take time to wind down before bed.

How do you cope with the challenges of the pandemic in your studies? ›

Take time for yourself each day.
Tips for college students:
  1. Know that it is okay to feel how you are feeling. It is normal during this crazy time to experience feelings of sadness, anger, frustration, anxiety, or all of the above. ...
  2. Maintain a routine. ...
  3. Practice good sleep hygiene. ...
  4. Connect with others. ...
  5. Take a break.

Why is it important to continue education despite the pandemic? ›

Despite the added challenges of the pandemic, it is imperative for education to continue. Education has a stabilizing effect on learners in times of emergencies. It often brings a sense of normalcy that softens the blow of vulnerability in times of disorder.

What are the disadvantages of classroom learning? ›

Classroom Learning Disadvantages:

Travel time and cost. Attendance times can be restrictive or inconvenient. Shy students may have trouble approaching the instructor with questions. You usually have to sit through each lecture even if you already know most of the material.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of face to face meeting? ›

Pros of face-to-face communication
  • 1) Allows reading of body language. ...
  • 2) Builds trust and transparency. ...
  • 3) Enhances productivity. ...
  • 4) Allows discussion and conclusions. ...
  • 1) Finding appropriate time. ...
  • 2) Cost of facilitating a meeting. ...
  • 3) Ineffective in large meetings.
28 Dec 2018

What are the advantages and disadvantages of online courses? ›

Read on.
  • Online courses require more time than on-campus classes. ...
  • Online courses make it easier to procrastinate. ...
  • Online courses require good time-management skills. ...
  • Online courses may create a sense of isolation. ...
  • Online courses allow you to be more independent. ...
  • Online courses require you to be an active learner.

What do you foresee as challenges or difficulties that you will encounter when you teach mother tongue as a learning area? ›

Some problems encountered by the teachers in implementing mother tongue-based instruction include absence of books written in mother tongue, lack of vocabulary, and lack of teacher-training. Nevertheless, the study indicated that major attention and effort are still necessary to be given to the approach.

What they consider to be the biggest challenge in their life as teachers? ›

Designing Learning Outcomes that mean something and are an effective way to measure student potential and success is a big challenge. Meeting those learning outcomes and having solid indicators to prove this, all the while easing the paperwork and the excel sheets of the teachers have become unthinkable.


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