Written by: Arlene F. Dizon – Administrative Assistant III
“How are your studies?” How common is this question directed to students? How hard is it for them to answer during today’s pandemic?
It has been more than a year now since the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted our normal way of living, not to mention, our educational system. For about half a year since the reopening of classes on October 5, 2020, students nationwide have been persistently striving to continue their education through distance learning. Inside the four corners of a room, students engage in either modular or online learning in their homes. While this type of learning has indeed have its limitations, it cannot be denied that it has opened a new educational method that is constantly progressing and can be pursued.
Along with the outbreak of the virus came the outbreak of fast and stable internet connectivity. It may not be as noticeable as it is still indeedlacking in some ways, but compared to a year before, the Philippines’ internet quality has surely improved. Information was simply a few bytes of data away. This accessibility allowed many students to transform their own home into a place of learning. Although it took a lot of adapting and struggling to get used to the new system, students and teachers can now freely interact in virtual classrooms over the internet.
Parents also overcame hurdles as they have to set aside a few hours of their time a day to teach their children and guide them in accomplishing assignments and activities provided by their teacher, or those instructed by their modules. This can be said to be challenging for them, because compared to skilled teachers, parents may not necessarily be experienced in teaching. Albeit, the increased time of communication has given more chances for parent-child interactions that is an ever important factor in the growth of children.
Perhaps it is simply a case of the right tool for the right task. Although the older students can successfully adapt to distance learning, it may still compromise the quality of education for the younger ones that require a good foundation of knowledge, and experienced teachers. In the end, it becomes the teacher’s burden and responsibility to ensure that the students are learning properly, not just during their classes. Thus, the greatest struggle could perhaps even be with the teachers instead, as they try to pave the way for continuous learning.
To alleviate this burden, in the future, face-to-face classes would have to eventually be conducted. However, as the pandemic continues to threaten the country and the world, the safest place to learn will always be inside four corners of a room. Until such risks are erased, the potentiality of combining the concept of blended learning into the previous normal educational system would have to wait.