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LOUD WHISPER | No student should be left behind… Are you a social butterfly?

WHEN classes eventually started in college during the last days of August this year, teachers were hesitant to teach. For one reason, they have not been trained or prepared to new methods of learning-teaching process. Teachers and professors have not been properly briefed with the method of teaching, online and offline teaching modalities.

Two days ago, we saw teachers with placards rallying at Mendiola, near the Malacanan Palace asking that they be relieved from this added task of preparing modules for students and from requiring their students to use online modalities of teaching.

Another thing, teachers are clamoring that they be provided with the necessary tools, facilities and equipment which they can use in teaching, like mobile phone Android phone; Smart phone; laptop; tablet; and desktop. Not everybody can acquire or afford to purchase these because these are not affordable to lowly-paid employees. A breadwinner would rather prefer to buy food for his/her family first, than buy these non-essential gadgets.

The biggest question is, our country in general, has poor internet connection. Even our very own President is aware of this problem. Yet, we push our teachers and students to avail of this tool which is beyond their capacity and beyond their reach. The question is, why does DepEd and CHED insist that these two modes be used? Is this practical? Then CHED – DepEd memos say “No student should be left behind. Let education continue…” Wow!!!

Online education has grown in popularity and accessibility, attracting students with its schedule-friendly format options. These formats can be grouped broadly into two categories: synchronous and asynchronous. CHED says synchronous is online or distance education that happens real time, often with a set class schedule and required login times. Asynchronous means, does not require real-time interaction instead, content which is available online for students to access when it best suits their schedules and assignments are completed to deadlines. These programs can also use a hybrid learning model, which includes a blend of both formats.

In other words, synchronous means online, and asynchronous means offline. To my understanding, synchronous is the use of online teaching. This is the new normal system of classroom activity. Since face-to-face approach is discouraged, then the “dictionary” uses the word, “synchronous” to give it a new flavor or new ingredient. In fact this is a bit difficult and inappropriate, if I am to describe it. It is not meritorious on the part of the teacher. This is an added burden to him or her. Instead of saving a little something for the family she or he has to buy a desktop or expensive or android cellphone for teaching. And during this time of pandemic, teachers are not given extra allowance to buy this gadget, then he becomes incompetent insofar as teaching is concerned. The worst is, he/she would be spending so much in buying a smart load or globe load into his/her cellphone and another load for internet connection of the pocket Wi-Fi.

On the other hand, asynchronous does not require real-time interaction, instead, content is available online for students to access when it best suits their schedules, and assignments are completed on deadlines.

When choosing an online education format, it is important to ask yourself: What kind of learner are you? Are you a self-starter or a social butterfly?

In the google classroom where students select their choice they are asked to register in either of the two. But if one student uses asynchronous, she/he has to inform the teacher as soon as possible so that she will be recorder as such. If he/she would choose the offline line class, she has a valid reason. She should submit her letter of employment from the employer. This now makes the work of the teacher more tedious.

This is extra work of the teacher because she would be attending to two groups of enrollees. This is good, the teacher would really feel excited but this is not easy. During this time of pandemic where every gesture of each of the employee is monitored, the teacher can’t anymore attend to more important thing, which is his family. There will be no more time for reading, writing and for watching TV shows.

While writing this piece, my former students in Davao City High School sent me a message via Messenger: to our great teacher.. Happy Teachers’ Day Ma’am. We’ll never forget you!! (With this, I become emotional and teary-eyed. I am really touched. I can’t believe it. They still remember me after long years of having been their adviser in that best school in Region XI. And just to acknowledge their kind hearts and sincere wishes for me, may I mention them: Cherry A. Cayao, Perla T. Torred, Imelda Montoya-Mata, Nancy R. Bacsal-Laurencio, Marissa Montalbo-Alvaro, Imelda Bobilles-Ticao, Conchita Manuel-Cambangay, Patrocenio G. Agudera, Jr., Visminda Bargamento-Toreno, Rene Caballo, Mariliz Barbasan-Pequiro, Stella de Mata-Yap, Angelita Salva-Libre, Arlie Luis-Ablaza, Josephine Banihit-Concepcion, Mary Anne Selgas, Genevieve Etrone, Orlando Ajoc, Noel Bugas, Evaristo Bravo, Maria Corazon Bongcais, Conchita Parba, Virginia Fuentes, Judith Esperanza Diaz, Roman Moscoso, Rene Rodriguez, Jesus Javier Aliño, Augusto Cahandig.

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