The Philippines closed schools for two and a half years during the pandemic. After fully reopening in November 2022, it became clear that many students had fallen behind. The decline in English proficiency – the country's second official language – is particularly serious, impacting performance in science, math and other subjects that use English. During the closures, classes were held remotely, largely depending on large volumes of printed worksheets for solo study and leaving any students who got stuck without anyone to assist them. Two teachers have started holding free classes for reading and writing aimed at students struggling with English. Discover how educators in the Philippines are working to regain what was lost during the pandemic.
In-person classes have restarted at the Naga City School of Arts and Trades for the first time in two and a half years
Local high school teachers Shela and Juliet have started holding free classes to help struggling students brush up on their English skills
Recent graduate Sammy has been unable to start his career, instead working part time as a padyak driver
Juliet believes that education is the only way for children in her hometown to break free from poverty