Thursday, 11 June 2020 14:39

Munchkins, anyone?

Written by John David O. Moncada
THESE THREE LITTLE kids came knocking on our gate one afternoon while I was tending the distribution of vegetable seeds of GSK CDO. They asked earnestly if I wanted to buy their munchkins. One said, the older among the three, I supposed, that her ate (older sister) made it for them to peddle. I kind of knew what it was for but my heart melted when they themselves, one-by-one, started to tell me that they would use the money they will earn to buy a cellphone in preparation for the new normal ('better normal' Dr. Michael Tan, a columnist of PDI, prefers to call it) in school which is online learning.
 
Enrolment has started since June 1 through text messaging and filling out of Google forms. Classes will start in August this year. Secretary Leonor Briones of the Department of Education (DepEd) has taken heed of the order of President Duterte not to conduct face-to-face classes until a vaccine is available in the country that is why DepEd has been preparing for blended learning. It simply means that learning is a combination of the use of online platforms, printed or digital modules, and even traditional mediums television and radio.
 
This is where the cellphone these kids are selling the munchkins to come in useful. They can use it to access their learning materials or to participate in an online class, if there is one or if they have to. But having a cellphone is just one side of the story. Access to the Internet is another.
 
These kids and their parents can problematize that later. Clearly, what is important for them now is to raise the amount needed to buy a cellphone that would give them a sense of connection to the online world once online learning starts. I bought five pieces. I should have bought more, I know, if not, all of their munchkins that afternoon. Looking at them though, what I am so concerned about is their safety while they go out in the streets selling their two-peso worth munchkin.