Online learning: ‘There will be students left behind’
By Pam Pastor
Philippine Daily Inquirer
August 1, 2020 at 5:00 am

(Continued from last week)

We hear from more students on their thoughts, concerns and worries about distance learning.

Beck, 16

Grade 11, Arts and Design, De La Salle Senior High School

Are you ready for the new school year? Not really. I kinda despise this. It’s not very considerate of students’ situations, especially those in the public schools.

How different is your preparation compared to last year? It’s quite different. Last year, I had to buy school materials like books and pencil cases. This year, we had to buy expensive gadgets. I also had to find a conducive space, which was extra hassle because I live with nine people in my lola’s house.

How do you feel about distance learning? I have my reservations about it, and I’m very skeptical about how this will turn out.

What are your concerns? Some students have different styles of learning. I am a visual learner, so the online lectures are difficult.

What are the challenges you think you will face? Bad internet connection, not being able to comprehend the lessons, my mental health.

What do you miss the most about being in school? Having fun and real experiences in the classroom as well as social interaction. I’m an extrovert, so school is my No. 1 source of energy and socialization.

Hannah Victoria, 17

Grade 12, Accounting and Business Management, St. Paul College-Pasig

Hannah Victoria

Are you ready for the new school year? I am still in the process of mentally preparing myself for the next school year.

How different is your preparation compared to last year? It has been a lot more challenging compared to the previous school year. The circumstances and the fact that this is my last year of high school have put a lot of pressure on me. I have been studying in advance for the CETs and also mentally preparing myself for the school year that will unfortunately be held online.

How do you feel about distance learning? It is new and unexpected. I feel it will be a challenge for every student to adapt to this system, especially those who don’t have daily access to the internet. I am hopeful that it will go better and will help us students stay on track with our academics while being safe in the comfort of our homes.

What are your concerns? I’m concerned for those who don’t have access to the internet and the necessary equipment. This will mean that some students will have to take a gap year because of lack of resources.

What are the challenges you think you will face? I think I will have to discipline myself a lot more when it comes to studying. Since we don’t have to go to school eight to nine hours a day, teachers will expect us to make use of our free time to study and do our assignments well.

What do you miss the most about being in school? I miss being in an environment of learning and being surrounded by people who encourage us to do so. I also miss the laughter and company of my classmates during breaks.

Yvana Concepcion, 18

1st year, BS-HRIM, De La Salle-College of St. Benilde

Yvana Concepcion

Are you ready for the new school year? Yes.

How different is your preparation compared to last year? Instead of preparing things I need for school like last time, I need to be more socially and mentally prepared.

How do you feel about distance learning? It is not the kind of learning that is ideal for me, especially with courses that focus more on practical exercises than classroom lectures.

What are your concerns? Not all people have access to online learning and not all are prepared for the incoming school year.

What are the challenges you think you will face? Interacting with people I don’t know and learning things mostly by myself.

What do you miss the most about being in school? Friends, events and projects.

Cayenne Tan, 16

Grade 11, Immaculate Conception Academy-Greenhills

Cayenne Tan

Are you ready for the new school year? Yes.

How different is your preparation compared to last year? I was less worried about school last year. I did not have to worry so much about the internet connection, having my own computer and having a conducive learning environment.

How do you feel about distance learning? It has its pros and cons. Distance learning will affect students differently depending on their learning style. It will also affect parents and other people in the household, as they would have to cater to the needs of the student.

What are your concerns? First, there will be distractions inside the household when online classes are being conducted. These include noise, slow Wi-Fi and many more.

Second, it will be more difficult for parents, especially those with young children, as they would have to guide them throughout their online classes. Parents would have less time for their own work. If they have more than one young child, they would have to further divide their attention to cater to their needs.

Third, low-income families cannot afford to buy gadgets and other materials required for online learning. As a result, there will be students left behind.

Fourth, students are exposed to electromagnetic radiation for a number of hours. This can negatively affect their health. Lastly, not all lessons can be taught online, such as those that require practical application.

What are the challenges you think you will face? Since our family consists of four children, my siblings and I would have to create our own workspace so as not to distract the other sibling from his or her studies. We would also have to buy more computers and upgrade our Wi-Fi. I may also be more distracted while having classes as our house does not have a conducive learning environment. Aside from these, it may be more difficult for me to reach out to teachers if I have concerns on the topic. Teachers may respond late to my inquiries.

What do you miss the most about being in school?I miss being able to talk to my classmates and teachers face to face, and extracurricular activities. I also miss the events that online classes cannot bring.

Daniel Sean Cabrillos, 20

2nd year, Music Technology, University of Santo Tomas Conservatory of Music

Daniel Sean Cabrillos

Are you ready for the new school year? No, I am not. I fear for the worst when it comes to internet connectivity. And because some of our classes are mostly performance-based, I just cannot see how that will work out, even if our teachers have assured us that they have prepared to do everything online.

How different is your preparation compared to last year? We don’t need to wear our uniforms anymore, or get a haircut, or buy notebooks since everything is online.

How do you feel about distance learning? It’s weird because I’m being home-schooled, which I’ve never experienced until this pandemic happened. I can eat, drink, sleep whenever I want, but that freedom comes with a very big responsibility. You have to manage your time so you can submit all your tasks on time. What are your concerns? Internet connectivity, classmates who do not have their own instruments for practice, not having your friends by your side.

What are the challenges you think you will face? Adjusting to something that you aren’t used to. I think that would be a monstrous challenge for me and my classmates.

What do you miss the most about being in school? Having fun with my classmates after every class and practicing with them in the hallways, striving to help each other out and gaining knowledge in the process.

Vincent Daniel Co, 16

Grade 12, Senior High School, Grace Christian College

Vincent Daniel Co

Are you ready for the new school year? Yes.

How different is your preparation compared to last year? This year’s preparation got a lot easier compared to last year’s. Since everything is done online in the “new normal,” my parents and I don’t have to worry about waiting in line to pay for my tuition fee, to purchase books and school materials and everything that needs to be done physically. I am very blessed to already have the things that are required for distance learning: a place to study, a laptop and a stable internet connection.

How do you feel about distance learning? Fortunately, I already know how this works and what to expect because we had our last grading in the Google classroom. I feel like distance learning is really important and should be encouraged in schools. Although it is not as effective as learning in school, distance learning helps students do something productive while they are at home and allows them to learn something new each day. It also keeps our brains working so that our thinking ability won’t be rusty once physical learning starts again.

What are your concerns? It is not as effective as when learning physically in school because I think the interaction and discussions in class with my teachers and classmates help make every lesson easier and more interesting.

What are the challenges you think you will face? The biggest challenge is to completely focus and study without being distracted. I find it very challenging to study when there are many distractions, such as a video game console, a TV and many more. I also find it very difficult to focus when I’m using a phone or a laptop to access the lessons because it has many apps that can easily distract me and prevent me from learning anything at all.

What do you miss the most about being in school? I miss being with my friends. It is sad that this is how we will be spending our last year as a class before going to college.

Jill Malig, 19

1st year, Fine Arts, Kalayaan College

Jill Malig

Are you ready for the new school year? No.

How different is your preparation compared to last year? Very different, because I’m a college freshman and it might become a struggle for me.

How do you feel about distance learning? What are your concerns? I think distance learning won’t have much of an impact on students, unless they really strive to learn. Many students don’t even learn or pay attention to nononline classes—how much more distance learning, where there are a lot of distractions? It could also be a waste of tuition.

What are the challenges you think you will face? We students might not perform and learn new things as efficiently as in school. There are a lot of factors that may greatly affect our learning, like the lack of gadgets, internet connection, etc.

What do you miss the most about being in school? I miss extracurricular activities, participating in social events and interacting with my classmates and other students.

Hannah Ruth Eustaquio, 20

3rd year, Financial Management, University of Rizal System

Hannah Ruth Eustaquio

Are you ready for the new school year? No.

How different is your preparation compared to last year? Unlike last year when I was excited to buy things for school and meet friends, this time I need to find gadgets and money so I can attend online classes.

How do you feel about distance learning? I am not in favor of distance learning. It is easier to learn face to face.

What are your concerns? I think some students cannot concentrate kasi wala masyadong magsisita sa kanila.

What are the challenges you think you will face? I think yung Wi-Fi connection or signal. In the Philippines we don’t have a speedy connection or there are places na dead spot. Like sa mga probinsya, yung iba sobrang hina ng signal na they need to find an area na meron pang signal.

What do you miss the most about being in school? The feeling of being nervous every time there’s a recitation and our terror professor is randomly picking out our index cards. I really miss holding my breath and crossing my fingers, hoping my name isn’t called. Oh, and also the smell of our school canteen, the security guard who won’t let us in without our IDs, and reviewing for tests at the last minute.

More next week.

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