It’s that time of year again



No, I don’t mean the NBA Finals which starts later this week. “That” time refers to school opening season, and today millions of students will rejoin the daily rush, competing with their adult counterparts for space in buses, jeeps, shuttles and the like. Tricycles even, although this mode of transport should really be phased out of the main streets of Metro Manila.

In the capital city of Manila, these tricycles do little except overcharge passengers, add to the worsening traffic, and generally make a nuisance of themselves.

I don’t know which is worse, the motorized kind or the ‘padyak’ variety. Only Mar Roxas knows for sure since his campaign ad in the 2010 polls showed him driving—not just riding—a tricycle. Maybe in the future, he can represent tricycle drivers as a party-list rep. Or is that the exclusive domain of one Mikey Arroyo?

Anyway, today being the first day of classes at all levels, we can expect the daily grind of heading for work to worsen. If it takes an hour to get from home to office, it should now take an hour and a half, at the very least.

Then let’s see what happens when typhoon season sets in.

All over Metro Manila, but noticeably in the capital, there seems to be a lot of road construction projects going on, ostensibly to lay new drainage pipes. Naturally, the projects are behind schedule, so that when the first hard rains fall, many parts of the metropolis will be submerged.

It’s one thing for an adult to wade through waist-deep floods, but what of the little school kids?

Anytime in the next few weeks and months, expect some grandstanding politician to again call for moving the school year so it does not coincide with the coming of the rainy season.

Some say the school year should start around September or October, ala-USA. Others insist that the summer months would be the ideal time to kick off classes.

Right. By having classes during the hot summer months, there will be no need for PE classes. Everyone will be sweating like pigs, which is what PE is all about, isn’t it?

Or, it will be a test. Survival of the fittest and all that. Any kid who collapses in class due to the extreme heat will be labelled a weakling and will therefore be the target of bullying throughout the school year.

Fact is, there is no “best” time to start a school year. Good and bad weather will always be something that studes will have to face until they graduate, then join the workforce. After that, as full-fledged adults, they will continue to face more of the same.

Could online education be the answer?

There is a growing number of workers whose jobs are essentially done online. In my family, there are two and a half who draw pretty decent incomes working online. I happen to be the half, since I have a sideline job working for a US-based newspaper.

I also have several friends who stay at home, work on their PCs, and earn as much as any manager of a top 1,000 corporation.

So why can’t schools have online classes to go hand-in-hand with actual face-to-face ones?

It sort of makes sense, doesn’t it?


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