Easier said than done: should flexible learning be considered the norm from here on out?

Jun 17, 2021 0 comments



The life of a student now is vastly different compared to the years prior to the pandemic. Instead of entering a classroom, they click on a link that redirects them to a virtual classroom. They meet with their classmates and professor on-screen—bound inside digital boxes. Halfway through the lecture, the audio becomes choppy and cuts out intermittently due to unstable internet. In the free time they have before their next class, there was only idle waiting. There was no studying at libraries or quick snacks with the physical presence of friends. School life has consisted of more digital boxes and screens.


A recent statement from Commission of Higher Education (CHED) Chair Prospero de Vera III explicits that “there’s no going back,” to the traditional face to face classes and that “[flexible learning] will continue in school year 2021 and hereafter,” suggesting that the current setup of the learning system today will become the new norm and that face-to-face classes have become a relic of the past. 


Later on, after receiving massive criticism over his statement, de Vera clarified that flexible learning did not solely mean online learning but may also be modular and a mixture of both. He also added that given the pandemic's health concerns and a vast majority of the Filipino population still not fully vaccinated, the current setup remains to stay.


Putting aside de Vera’s vague and contradictory statements, the current setup still urges us to evaluate its conditions. Is flexible learning effective in educating and engaging with students? Should it be maintained and should it be the norm even after the pandemic?


The current setup at hand


The COVID19 Pandemic has forced schools and universities to suspend face to face classes and shift to digital learning to maintain the safety of both the students and the staff. Since then, both schools and students face a wide allotment of issues concerning the new setup. Ranging from unstable internet connections, recurring power outages, financial concerns, and non-conducive learning environments, amongst many other things. While some are able to make the proper adjustments, the recent closing of many private schools and a large portion of students opting to not enroll for the school year make it clear that the setup is not as universal as it claims to be.


We have learned different news stories of students struggling to ration their cellphone load for data just so they won’t miss class, some making long walks towards hilltops so they can have cell reception to submit requirements.


And even modular learning is not without its caveats. Without the proper guidance of a teacher, students may not feel that they have fully understood the lesson. Moreover, despite modular learning being most applicable in Primary Schools, we have to ask if this method is as effective for Secondary and Tertiary levels. Because some subjects require more than just a module to fully digest these lessons. So the very essence of flexible learning is hinged on the reliance of online classes to help learn the different lessons at hand.


While digital and modular learning has its benefits, face-to-face learning stands as the most effective way for students of all levels to learn in school. This is because the latter is able to fulfill all of the requirements a student needs for their learning experience. Through teachers physically present in a classroom to guide students through the lessons, and facilities that puts the student on equal footing with everyone else and creates an engaging and conducive learning environment for them.


Convenience or Hassle?



Online learning should’ve been a new and innovative way that will usher students into the future of learning—exploring new features that can serve as an alternative or an addition to the traditional classroom setup. But it is apparent that this is a leap we are not prepared to make as of yet.


It is also important to address the students’ personal well-being. Many students express that the current setup has taken a toll on their physical and mental health—being unable to delineate their student and personal life, paired with the anxiety caused by the pandemic ravaging the country.


It’s true that the country is not yet prepared to reopen schools and return to face-to-face classes, for it is far too dangerous without reaching herd immunity through vaccination. But it is also important to be made aware of the shortcomings present from flexible learning. We shouldn’t view these stories we hear about adapting to the new normal as stories of resiliency to be lauded and sensationalized, but rather, as a serious evaluation of the conditions we’re forced to deal with currently.


Until all schools have the capacity to conduct flexible learning that is universal and effective, this should not be seen as the norm post-pandemic.


━━ Written By  Juan Carlos Felipe G. Montenegro
━━  Art By Elaine Mercado


Join the community of Young, Empowered, and Creative! Like, Follow, Subscribe to metroscenemag.com and our socials FacebookTwitter and Instagram

Comments

Related Posts

{{posts[0].title}}

{{posts[0].date}} {{posts[0].commentsNum}} {{messages_comments}}

{{posts[1].title}}

{{posts[1].date}} {{posts[1].commentsNum}} {{messages_comments}}

{{posts[2].title}}

{{posts[2].date}} {{posts[2].commentsNum}} {{messages_comments}}

{{posts[3].title}}

{{posts[3].date}} {{posts[3].commentsNum}} {{messages_comments}}

{{posts[0].title}}

{{posts[0].date}} {{posts[0].commentsNum}} {{messages_comments}}

{{posts[1].title}}

{{posts[1].date}} {{posts[1].commentsNum}} {{messages_comments}}

{{posts[2].title}}

{{posts[2].date}} {{posts[2].commentsNum}} {{messages_comments}}

trending

{{posts[0].title}}

{{posts[0].date}} {{posts[0].commentsNum}} {{messages_comments}}

{{posts[0].summary}}

{{posts[1].title}}

{{posts[1].date}} {{posts[1].commentsNum}} {{messages_comments}}

{{posts[1].summary}}

{{posts[2].title}}

{{posts[2].date}} {{posts[2].commentsNum}} {{messages_comments}}

{{posts[2].summary}}

{{posts[3].title}}

{{posts[3].date}} {{posts[3].commentsNum}} {{messages_comments}}

{{posts[3].summary}}

{{posts[4].title}}

{{posts[4].date}} {{posts[4].commentsNum}} {{messages_comments}}

{{posts[4].summary}}

trending

The utter hypocrisy of Filipinos in the face of sex scandals

Some Filipinos are sex predators! There, I said it.  For sure there are …

Philippines to finally have COVID-19 mass testing, a result of their protest

Art by: Carver  After weeks of online petition for mass testing. The g…

Ez Mil's 'Panalo' can be problematic and here's why

While some people express their love for the country by writing poetry, some ar…

'Kaos,' a Series About Greek Mythology is Coming to Netflix

If you’re an avid fan of Greek mythology books, movies or looking for Percy Jac…

Lady Gaga helped this student write a valedictorian speech

Admit it or not, but most graduation speeches hold no relatable message and are…