Education In Times of Pandemic

By: Jocelyn R De Guzman

The coronavirus has turned the attention on one of the local issues that hasn’t been set on until now, making education possible in any condition/ situation.

As the Department of Education (DepEd) announced that classes will be opening on October 5,2020 for the School Year 2020-2021 and would use a blended approach to learning as the country deals with the pandemic. Deped Secretary Leonor Briones said that distance learning is the major component of learning delivery for the incoming school year. Distance learning means lessons will be delivered outside the traditional face-to-face set up as the government limits interactions and prohibits mass gatherings. Blended learning approach would be implemented with students learning from online, television ,radio, and printed materials. In this modality, parents would have to play an active role in the learning process. They would be the one to facilitate and guide their children through modular lessons that would be sent to the students while doing distance learning. Remote Learning” will basically be “homeschooling” and this is where a lot of challenges arise.

One of the possible issues that may be encountered in this kind of learning modality is the fact that not all parents are capable of guiding their children, there are parents who cannot read and write, or in some case both parents are working and might have no one to guide their child in the lessons or teach the child at home, here is where the problem starts. Another issue that should be considered is that while distance learning has to be self-paced to some extent, keeping students motivated enough is also a challenge because of the kids short attention spans. Parents should also supervise classes and class activities whether on line or in TV or radio, if the signal is stable or not , if the station is clear or not or if the channel is available or not, these are just a few to mention and need to be taken seriously.

Blended learning setup is indeed difficult for both parents and students.
We know the value of the continuity of learning but we should also understand that blended distance learning is just a temporary way of dealing with this problem. To make education possible in every situation, the department should be working towards normalization, not the new normal which is the distance learning, but the face-to-face learning.