WATCH: Full-time students, part-time workers

As the education system shifts to distance learning, students in the Philippines struggle to adjust to virtual classrooms. While some enjoy the convenience of a stable internet connection and gadgets, there are students who aren’t as lucky. There are those who need to work on the side just to survive online classes.

Sophia Marie Jule, a grade 12 student from Cavite, tells Rappler she had to open a small printing business to earn extra income and buy a new laptop. That way, she won’t have to borrow one every day from her cousin or her aunt.

Second year college student Jhonna Alamag also works part-time at a small lomihan or noodle eatery in Cavite. During the day, she juggles serving lomi to customers and attending her class. 

Jhonna uses the money she earns from waiting on tables to buy load for her internet and save for her allowance. “My parents didn’t spoil me by paying for these things. I need to work hard to earn,” she says.

The education department says over 24 million students are back to school this year, more than 3 million lower than last year's 27.7 million students. Sophia and Jhonna’s experiences mirror the pandemic struggles of many students, who have no choice but to persevere.

Watch the full video for their story. – Rappler.com