Yay or Nay: Distance Learning

An online class is the immediate response of schools after the government announced quarantine and lockdowns. This became a challenging part for students and even schools that were not yet ready for this type of learning strategy. Some institutions may already be started doing this but only for projects, assignments, and other paper works that can be sent online. Others, mostly public schools, chose mass promotion.

Students worry about what kind of education they would encounter this incoming school year, knowing the existence of pandemic. It is very hard to implement online classes especially in a third world country that lacks government funding on modernization in the field of telecommunication that causes the provision of a slow internet connection to a lot of areas. There would be pros and cons, but the most evident issue that distance learning would bring is the inequality of quality education. In the Philippines, a lot of children can’t afford to go to school. Good thing public schools are there to give them less to free tuition fees. Online classes would leave out a lot of students that only depend on borrowing books from their library and going to school just to listen to their teacher. If the said type of class will pursue, those who can’t afford to buy laptops or smartphones and have a strong internet connection, would not have the same standard of those fortunate students have.

On the 8th of June 2020, Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Briones insisted that education cannot wait. However, on the same date, the later also confirmed that DepEd is not yet ready for implementing and supporting this kind of learning strategy that is to postpone the regular schedule of the opening of classes and have it rescheduled on August 24, 2020(Malipot, 2020).

As of July 15, 2020, a part official statement of DepEd states that they will be giving out Learner Enrollment Survey Form (LESF). These LESF questions the capacity of the student to pursue schooling under distance learning. This survey would help the department to decide. Whatever the decision made by the government, particularly DepEd, may work.

Hopefully, the quality of education would still be the same for all. Not all students can cope up with distant learning. Some of them need supervision from their teacher or a one-on-one talk to a classmate for them to understand a particular topic. As per DepEd’s advice, parents should monitor and tutor their children. What if they don’t have any guardian or they are all busy to be a “teacher” at home? On the other hand, some critics suggest putting up an academic freeze. This is to ensure that no student would be left out, and at the same time, the safety for all is guaranteed. Although the number of students has another take on this, they are afraid that the academic freeze might lengthen the time they have to study.

Distance learning is one of the things that this pandemic made us do. Regardless of what the further announcement will be, we should always remember that our life is more important than anything else.

Source: Malipot, M. H. (2020, June 8). DepEd disputes claims that it is not ready for blended learning. Manila Bulletin. Retrieved June 19, 2020, from https://news.mb.com.ph/2020/06/08/deped-disputes-claims-that-it-is-not-ready-for-blended-learning/

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