Teachers, parents and students are slowly returning to schools with mixed feelings of excitement and anxiety. With the Department of Education’s authorization to begin the “progressive expansion phase” of limited face-to-face classes, 304 public schools in Alert Level 2 areas will be allowed to operate following strict safety guidelines.1
Reopening classes will help the most vulnerable and disadvantaged students despite COVID-19 and other preexisting learning crises. If schools continue to remain inoperative, schooling may stop altogether for some and, without access to quality and inclusive education, children from the most marginalized communities will pay the heaviest price.
A study by Sevy-Biloon (2021), entitled “Virtual or Face to Face Classes: Ecuadorian University Students’ Perceptions During the Pandemic,”2 cited pandemic problems around the world in the area of education. In Indonesia, many students from low-income families who reside outside the metro have very limited access to internet and other learning resources. This widens the gap between students who can and can’t afford the e-learning environment.3 In Turkey, students have made it clear that they feel as though social interactions between their classmates and teachers have been arduous. In Ecuador, students struggle with internet connectivity and not everyone has the tools to properly take online classes. And even with the right tools, the curriculum must fit the new normal to lessen the disconnect between virtual classes and the learning materials.4 With various challenges along with the transition, teachers, parents and students must work hand in hand to deliver learning effectively.
Quality learning resources
Modular learning will not be going away anytime soon. Face-to-face classes will still be carried out with home-based modular learning. As such, it is important to augment learning from school and at home effectively. Knowledge Channel is a hub of quality multimedia learning resources designed specifically for Filipino children. Over 1,200 education episodes are regularly broadcast on air. Plus, more than 1,500 video lessons are made available offline through the Knowledge Channel Portable Media Library or KCPML. Major subjects taught in school like math, science, Filipino, English, social studies and values education are covered in Knowledge Channel’s house of learning resources. Moreover, materials for early childhood education are slowly being built up to cater to more Filipino parents and caregivers.
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2Sevy-Biloon, J. (2021): Virtual or face to face classes: Ecuadorian University students’ perceptions during the pandemic. English Language Teaching Educational Journal Volume 4, 15-24. Retrieved from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1296457.pdf
3Azzahra, Nadia F. (2020). Addressing Distance Learning Barriers in Indonesia Amid the Covid-19 Pandemic. Center for Indonesian Policy Studies. doi:10.35497/309162
4Lynch, M. (2020). E-Learning during a global pandemic. Asian Journal of Distance Education, 15(1), 189- 195. Retrieved from http://www.asianjde.org/ojs/index.php/AsianJDE/article/view/457