The COVID-19 pandemic really affects the setting of education and most of the people especially the students and teachers are trying their best on how can they be able to cope-up with this new normal. There are no face-to-face classes because everyone doesn’t want to risk their lives especially with the threat of the deadly virus that can be easily spread if there is a physical contact with one another, that is why, everyone is at first having a hard time on how to handle the situation.
Aside from that, some schools especially the private ones are forced to close their respective institution because of the few number of enrollees, which can be easily explained as most of the students chose to go in a public school or state universities to study without paying too much tuition fees. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of people lose their jobs which affected them as well in terms of financial aspects, that’s why, they chose to send their child in public schools because they can no longer afford the tuition fees in private schools.
Looking at the brighter side of the current situation in terms of educational set-up, there are many advantages that we can think of. Students can be able to study at the comfort of their homes and they will no longer have to worry about going to the school early and pay for transportation. They can study and join in their online classes anywhere because they have the full control over their online learning environment. They can easily attend their classes just by using their gadgets with internet connection but, if ever that they don’t have these devices to use, they can still learn through modular mode of learning wherein they have to answers the modules or activity sheets given by their respective teachers.
The students are given an opportunity to study in different content areas as they have many free times to do so, and that can also boost self-motivation seeing others successfully performing the task similar to them, that will promote high sense of self-efficacy as well.
Aside from the advantages mentioned, we can’t deny the fact that there are many disadvantages also that lie within this new normal setting of education.
On the part of the teachers, we all know that some of them are not yet prepared for this kind set-up especially those who are not yet digitally literate. It is very hard for them to handle the situation due to lack of availability of technological devices and poor knowledge about how to effectively utilize the technology needed for online teaching.
Generally speaking, even those digitally literate teachers are not also prepared and fully knowledgeable with the new set-up and there are many problems continue to arise with the new normal setting of education. It is very challenging for them to monitor their student’s performance because they cannot surely conclude that the students are really the ones who answered the assigned tasks to them when in fact, the parents or other members of the family who are more knowledgeable than the learners have the opportunity to answer that particular learning tasks.
In terms of conducting online classes, teachers are having a hard time as well on how can they be able to maintain the active learning environment during class especially because they cannot see their students personally and they do not know if the students are still paying attention with what they are discussing. There are some instances that the teachers are the only ones talking and students are just passive listeners. In that case, there is no assurance that the students are learning effectively at all.
On the part of the students, distance learning is also hard for them. Not all students are capable of learning by themselves without the guidance of the teachers. Most of the students need scaffolding in order to learn effectively and master the skills needed to reach their fullest potential. It is not easy to learn by just answering the modules without detailed explanation from the teachers.
It is also a challenge for them to learn effectively in online classes especially with the presence of poor internet connection and inappropriate gadgets. Just imagine those students who cannot understand the discussion very well because of continuous lagging of sounds and presentation. Some students cannot be able to response appropriately with the teacher because they did not understand the discussion at all due to poor internet connection. Some of them also joined the class later than the scheduled time because of several reasons like running out of data connection, power interruption that hinders them to use computer and gadgets especially if they need electricity and if those are having a low battery, and of course, if there is an emergency.
There is also an issue in terms of security when talking about the digital or online learning. There are some instances wherein a stranger got the chance to intervene with the class discussion doing inappropriate stuffs like posting nudes and unnecessary information, and showing disturbing behaviors like being rude and showing violence-related actions. This may be caused by several reasons such as, when the students shared the link of their virtual class which was intended only for them who are part of the class, or when the hacker is really knowledgeable about this matter wherein, he/she have the ability to enter the online meeting without any problem.
All in all, for me online class is still an excellent alternative way to still continue the education in times of pandemic, rather than just wasting an academic year, waiting for the old set-up to be backed to normal. But if there will be an opportunity to try limited face-to-face classes following strictly the health protocols, I am also agreeing to it especially when we are talking about a particular course which requires hands on learning rather than just passively listening in online classes. But, of course, the students, teachers, and other staffs in the school must follow the health protocols in a very strict manner so that everyone’s health will not be compromised.
This article is based on my point of view I've written in my position paper as a requirement in our school. If ever that my instructor got a chance to read this (hello sir!!! ), I hope he will read until the end so that he will not conclude that I've just copy pasted what's written in my position paper here in read.cash. Hahaha
My mind and emotion aren't stable until now due to exhaustion from all my works here at home including my job in our printing business, so I can't be able to think of a great topic and construct the supporting details if ever. With that, I'll just leave you with this article which was originally written by me also. But, just like what I've said earlier, it was based on my position paper.
Thank you for reading. I hope you are all having a great day. God bless you all.