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Editorial | Understanding new education platforms

Classes in basic education will resume on Aug. 24, but students will no longer be going to school like before, as advised by the Department of Education.

In Tuesday’s radio interview, Mayor Sara Duterte said education for this school year will use both online and offline modules, as well as homeschool methods. This obviously means that teachers will have drastic changes in their lesson plans and teaching strategies. Will they have enough time to do this in barely three months? Are they prepared to shift to this mode of teaching and in using new technologies to facilitate the learning process?

Do children have computers and an internet connection in their homes? Do they need to purchase more computers if there are many schoolchildren in the family? These are just some of the practical questions raised by mothers on social media. Putting food on the table after COVID-19 will be hard enough, purchasing computers and installing an internet connection will be too much of a financial burden for a family to bear.

DepEd is said to have developed a distance-learning module to respond to the needs of those in the hinterlands without access to technology. How this can be implemented boggles the mind. Pupils need guidance as they navigate their way to reading, writing and arithmetic. How can a teacher, who will be handling 50 or more pupils, handle such a method of teaching.
It cannot be stressed enough that education is very important if we want to ensure a better future for our children. Everyone would agree that schoolchildren have the right to education whatever the circumstances they face. But there is just this anxiety that there will be children who will be deprived of education due to lack of access to technology or the difficulties inherent in the learning modalities of online, offline, distance learning and homeschooling. In all these, the education of pupils falls heavily on the parents’ shoulders. Will they be able to give the necessary support to the learning of their children? This is a difficult question to answer.

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