DONADELLE G. LICUDAN
More than two years had passed since the Corona Virus dramatically altered our physical, mental, emotional, and even spiritual well-being. Everything, including the way people used to work, learn, and interact with one another, has been affected by this pandemic. Adjustment became necessary, and, regrettably, it was never a straightforward procedure to do. Because of the shifting of learning modalities into off- school learning, students are extremely affected. The only way to engage in the teaching and learning process is through online and modular learning setups.
For the students, the pandemic has taken away some of the possible experiences, fun, and learning that they could have had otherwise. They did not attend face-to-face classes for two years, and their outside activities were limited. It has never been easy to balance academic responsibilities on one’s own; not everyone is computer literate, and to be honest, it is difficult to maintain their motivation to accomplish their activities in the activity sheets. Even though the teachers are there to explain the lesson, it is not enough because there are children who do not have gadgets or access to the internet for online classes. As a result, the student’s complete understanding of the lesson has been compromised; that is why, the need for face-to- face classes is essential.
A common source of stress for some students is the transformation of the learning modality, as well as the trauma of an unclear future, which they faced during the lockdown. The students were in the middle of nowhere, thinking about what they will do for tomorrow, and then the cycle repeats itself for more than two years since lockdown drove some people unsure about when this crisis will end, and what other things the pandemic will bring. Because of a scarcity of technological resources and internet access, some students have lost their eagerness to learn because of their incapacity for technological resources. The implementation of limited face-to-face classes will rekindle students’ enthusiasm for continuing their studies.
In an article on “24 Oras,” it was reported that one of those students was Grade 9 student Berna (not her real name), who had been attending her online lesson from a small place in the house of her uncle. Berna complained that her little classroom was noisy, hot, and lacking in space. “Hindi mo po maintindihan ‘yung teacher mo, ‘yung paputol-putol ‘yung salita niya. Tapos magugulo pa po ‘yung ano, nasa bahay, ang iingay,” Berna said. (I am having trouble understanding my teacher, They sometimes break off, and the people at home are unruly and obnoxious.)
Students, like Berna, are just a few of the students who had difficulty adjusting to online learning. The use of technology increases during times of uncertainty, making the lives of students more convenient, providing them with their daily dosage of knowledge, entertainment, and many other benefits. They can communicate with one another, seek assistance, and stay up to date on school matters with the help of technology: this “new normal” that they have to deal with has brought about a variety of challenges. Not everyone is technologically adept or fortunate enough to have
access to all of the resources available for online learning, and it is not possible for everyone.
Even though months, weeks, and days had gone, they were blissfully unaware that the new regular setting had become just like the old normal setup. They were accustomed to distance learning because of the support of their teachers and parents. They are the epitome of resiliency and positivity. Flexibility in learning was made possible by everyone’s commitment and endurance to keep continuing, especially at a time when we are coping with challenging circumstances.
Students must cultivate certain characteristics that will enable them to preserve their academic integrity while also adapting rapidly to new situations. For example, people must be optimistic in everything they do online, and they must find ways to be optimistic in their offline activities as well. They must perceive difficulties as opportunities to learn and become more sympathetic.
Students are the epitome of strength. Despite the difficulties imposed on them by the virus, they demonstrate that nothing can prevent them from attaining their goals. Students are still holding on for a better outcome; this is not what they had hoped for, filled with anxiety and agony. It has given them confidence that this will be finished soon, and that they will all be back together for the next period of historical normalcy to begin.
Pandemic taught every student to continue moving forward and never hesitate. All of the knowledge they have gained since the pandemic is a gift to themselves for the future.