Philippine Students Engage in the New Normal of Learning

 By Laureane Navarro

Covid-19 has disturbed humanity in nearly all our ways of daily living. In the Philippines, students have gone through difficulties in this new way of learning where everything is remote.. Students here, as everywhere, have been experiencing virtual learning and gradually adapting to the habit of facing the screen most of the times as part of the new normal.

On Noypigeeks, a Philippine blog that covers Pinoy tech-related stories, by Jamie Manuel talks about the advantages and disadvantages of online classes. There are several factors that determine a student’s capacity to acquire lessons from an actual classroom and e-learning system. But the new normal embraces online learning which drives different kinds of students coping up for daily meetings. The advantages include, “You’re safe in the comforts of your home, you can exercise freedom and control, it’s definitely not a hassle going to school, students also learn the values of responsibility and priority, and the power of technology gets utilized.” In the disadvantages are, “Technical problems are inevitable, not all students can go online, there are plenty of distractions, the likelihood of not conforming to deadlines, and it doesn’t feel natural.”

For instance, in Cagayan de Oro City, to provide high quality of education requires technology up to date to cope up with the assessment and courses from their professors. Meanwhile, some schools lack computers that are needed. Students also have a hard time comprehending the lessons from their professor from the reoccurring problems, such as weak internet connections, old laptops, and the lack of study spaces where a student can join a class meeting.

Mary John, 24, is in her fifth and final year to graduate from Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan with a degree in Industrial Engineering  and worries students’ grades may not correspond to the lessons they have mastered.

“How can we, students, assure that our grades are really a true reflection of their learning given that each of us has different learning styles and preferences?” She is anxious too about how students will cope with staying up to date with readings and assignments when the measurement of the system is not as flexible as it should be.

She gets different reaction with her classmates when she asks about their current situation is during online learning.

“I don’t think I can pass this subject because I had a terrible time with my connection every class meeting conducted and also, I find it hard to get in touch with my professor’s updated course work,” said one of her classmates.

“I am using an old tablet and I don’t have access for newer versions in order to complete the cycle of the course,” said another.

Other students can get a positive effect with remote learning, they tend to work on their own pace without hassles. They just needed to step up to checking every module that the professors provided and submit assignments by the due date.

Overall, however, this shift to online learning has been a great challenge for students in the Philippines, as for many students around the world. In the end, they are simply trying their best to ensure continuous learning and providing more opportunities to alleviate the crisis of Covid-19.

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