Written by: John Paul D. Galang, Teacher I – Bataan National High School-Junior High School
While countries are in different stages and phases in handling the COVID-19 pandemic, it is still an inarguable fact that the majority of these countries worldwide have agonizingly decided to close schools, institutions, colleges and universities for over a couple of years now, and are still looking for ways to make up for the losses in all aspects. This severe instantaneous shifting of normal classes to home-schooling, has sent shockwaves and was heavily felt across the globe, most especially in our beloved homeland: Philippines.
True enough, this is a colossal blow in education. Teaching and learning will never be the same, again. Our schooling is continuously happening online, something that is quite unprecedented in our educational system. Though there have been a number of higher education institutions which have embarked on it earlier, still, it is an unseasoned, young and unproven scale for most schools and learning institutions: something that alarms me the most.
People say it’s just a matter of coping up and adapting to the “new normal”. However, the way I see it, what may seem to post little to none and be just “small and short-term adjustment issues” right at the moment, may, in the long run, result to big and long-term ramifications, this I can see clearly right through, and can say for this is my personal account of what’s taking place in the virtual world of teaching and learning.
This may come as a huge disappointment to most, but truth be told, as we are experiencing a global learning crisis, it is an undisputed fact for public school teachers like me, that many students are continuing their studies just for the sake of not wasting years being idle, to not to be left behind by their peers, and just to “get it done”, but they really are not grasping what they are supposed to learn.
As a public-school teacher by mind and by heart, I am in low spirits as I close my eyes every night and imagine how huge of an impact this pandemic has created to my students’ time ahead whose education has been immensely disrupted. It is with an anxious heart that I sometimes ask myself what kind of professionals are we honing? Will they be able to face the “real” world once they are out of this “virtual” one?
Be that as it may, I know all things work together for good. This pandemic shall soon pass. But while it is still here, I won’t let it take away my zest in teaching and in inspiring each and every life I get to encounter in the present virtual world of teaching and learning. At bottom, it is DepEd’s mandate to “…protect and promote the right of all citizens to quality education at all levels…”, and I suppose, this order stands at any circumstance, at any cost. Having it mentioned, I am one with DepEd.