By: Juniella Domingo / The Dominican Gazette
Since the pandemic started, a lot of changes happened in just a tiny amount of time. Malls and public places have closed due to the severe pandemic. There is so much to discuss, and among many institutions, schools are greatly affected. Schools serve as a second home for students. As the situation is still not normal, students have to conduct classes online. It is what they call the “New Normal.” It is a new way of learning in which various platforms are used to deliver courses virtually.
Furthermore, The Philippines is one of the five countries worldwide that have not started in-person classes since the pandemic began, affecting the right to learn of more than 27 million Filipino students. The current situation might affect the future of the students who tend to lag behind other classmates.
Students attend classes on a platform where the teacher assigned them to join. Students initially did not like the new system and were hesitant to take online classes. But in this kind of setup, attendance is expected, not just paperwork. Every teacher tries their best to make their lessons engaging. After all, it also depends on how the teacher handles the situation. As a teacher, the class needs to be interesting to avoid boredom. Hence, facilitators' teaching style may be a great help to their students despite non-face-to-face sessions.
After a year of online learning setup, there are some changes that students have shown. Other students are now comfortable and are already used to online classes, while others are still having a hard time. Regardless of the situation, there are still processes that students have gone through, and they will continue to grow as they learn to cope up and withstand this pandemic. Some changes happened that could affect the students. Aside from it could affect the student's progress, virtual learning could also affect a student’s mental health. If 27 million Filipino students are studying with online classes, how many of them can still keep going? Many students are experiencing mental breakdowns and anxiety due to circumstances during this new learning setup. Other students have this mindset of attending online classes to pass and not to learn anymore.
Furthermore, the Movement for Safe, Equitable, Quality and Relevant Education (SEQuRE), surveyed to assess the current situation of distance learning in basic education. The survey released last January 27, 2021, says more than half, or 53% of 620 student respondents, said that they are not sure if they can learn the competencies set by the government based on their grade level under the new distance learning setup. Moreover, 42.7% of 1,207 parent respondents said that they are confident that their children learned their lessons, and 31% of 1,395 teacher respondents said that one to three in every ten students lags in their classes.
During these difficult times, everyone should learn to slow down and give themselves time to rest. Learning at home is far more difficult than learning in school. Despite the ongoing pandemic, everyone is hopeful that positive changes will happen during this miserable situation.