The pandemic situation across the globe has almost caused our country’s education industry to a stop. Campuses closed, classes got called out, and every school is trying to make learning accessible online.
We’ve gathered resources including news articles regarding the Department of Education’s plan for the coming school year 2020-2021 and asked a few educators about their comments for this article and
Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Briones is considering the resumption of classes in September for school year 2020-2021, instead of June for the basic education level (K-12). These are based on trends in the state of COVID-19 in the Philippines, as well as consultations with experts, nationwide surveys, and the like. According to Dr. Lagmay, Executive Director of the UP Resilience Institute, it would be ideal to “cancel classes until December..to limit further COVID-19 infections.” (CNN Staff, 2020).
This made education for Filipino learners and educators much more complicated as various tools are being mixed and matched to deliver academic instruction online.
DepEd officials are also looking into the IT industry for remote learning strategies as well as blended learning as a contingency plan for the coming school year. This plan was initiated with the launch of “DepEd Commons,” an online platform filled with educational resources.
This leaves the private education institutions to decide on how they will cope with the challenges as distance learning needs to be adapted due to the healthcare crisis.
We must seek assistance from every sector that can help the overall transition.
So, how do we respond to such a gap in the academe during trying times?
According to Filipino Educator Pauline Perez, from Ateneo De Manila University, “We must seek assistance from every sector that can help the overall transition.”
Incorporating digital technologies which can be accessed by mobile phone would also be a huge asset because it is a given that not all students own desktops and/or laptops.
English Educator Janine Cruz, from Miriam College, also suggested that “Incorporating digital technologies which can be accessed by mobile phone would also be a huge asset because it is a given that not all students own desktops and/or laptops. This will further answer the accessibility issues posed by the development of learning management systems.
However, the digital divide has left a chunk of Philippine society behind in terms of information accessibility and digital technologies. Financial means plays a huge factor since this affects an individual’s ability to buy smartphones and stable internet access. Results show that as of 2019, Filipinos have a 71% Internet penetration rate. Applying this rate to the projected 2019 population in the Philippines, 31,353,818 Filipinos do not have access to a stable internet. This means that despite being dubbed as the “social media capital of the world,” approximately 3 out of 10 Filipinos are unable to access digital information with ease.
Another concern is how will the students be able to understand the content through reading? Students have different learning curves and styles, so we cannot immediately assume that reading will be the “free size” technique for all. There also has some sort of interaction between the teacher and the student where the latter can clarify concepts and the former can elaborate on them.”
As schools search for a reliable, intuitive, and inclusive learning management system, Decode Technologies is in search of these academic institutions as we all adjust to the ‘new normal’.
The tools we’re offering cannot entirely replace classroom learning, but we will try to make it more personal so our students will still be able to learn despite our situation.
Decode Technologies deeply understand these concerns that the need of each school may vary, the development of the system can also be tailor-fitted to their specific needs. It may even cater to schools for learners with special needs like deaf learners. This fosters an inclusive and intuitive education, just like how it needs to be accessible for everyone. “The tools we’re offering cannot entirely replace classroom learning but we will try to make it more personal so our students will still be able to learn despite our situation” said Decode Technologies Chief Technology Officer, Ricky Ignacio.
Having a teaching tool that can break the traditional walls of learning and teaching is now an opportunity that is available to us.
Teaching methods are changing fast. With the 21st century technology that we have, being digital is the new trend. Having a teaching tool that can break the traditional walls of learning and teaching is now an opportunity that is available to us.