by Geraldin L. Taroballes, JMNHS
Uncertainty, joblessness, panic, anxiety, hunger, discomfort, and depression. These are the words that one can immediately think about if we talk about the pandemic- the COVID 19. Many things have changed from the widespread of this disease. There is now limitation in mobility such as having a smaller number of public vehicles that cater large number of commuters. People need to walk for hours just to go to work as mass public transport was suspended. Job security is under attack specially those working in entertainment and recreation industries, food and hotel industries as well as those who are involved in the construction sectors. People who used to earn daily need to depend on the government for monetary assistance and the list goes on and on.
With the incoming school year, teachers, parents, and learners need to face the reality that almost nothing is going back to normal unless a vaccine will be developed and utilized. However, education is a basic human right and despite the pandemic, no one must be left behind. With many Filipinos who are below the poverty line and who were badly afflicted by this phenomenon, will they be able to avail quality education?
This article wishes to share some thoughts on how teachers, parents, and learners can positively deal with the pandemic.
For the Parents
Be open with new opportunities. It is sad to say that the pandemic has affected almost all kinds of trade. Workers involved in land, air and sea transportation, food and tourism industry and the like are all affected by the pandemic. The once secure source of income has dried up with no other available means as source of living. This is the time that the affected parents can be more innovative in finding other ways to earn a living. They might resort to online selling, selling goods or selling barbecue in stalls and the like.
Learn how to “teach”. Parents have become busy with finding food for the hungry stomachs of their children. Sometimes, they have forgotten about other responsibility such as monitoring their children’s academic status. It is the high time to learn how to “teach” their own children as the Department of Education is going full blown to online and modular modes of delivery.
For the Learners
Be more responsible. Learners usually joke around and say that they like going to school because they get to have their “baon.” With this pandemic, learners may level up and be more responsible when it comes to learning as they need to read through the whole text without the usual guidance of a teacher in a face-to-face scenario. They can independently follow schedules regularly and not make an excuse that their schoolwork can be done haphazardly because of the absence of a teacher.
For the Teachers
Be flexible. Old dogs are hard to teach, they say. However, this does not exempt Generation Z and the millennial teachers as they could also become stubborn when it comes to accepting new things from the Department of Education. They should have an open mindset when it comes to change.
Learn continuously. The online mode of delivery is not usual in the Philippine setting. Thus, there are numerous technical things that need to be learned especially if we deal with distance and/or online teaching and learning. With less than two months before the opening of class, teachers can spend their time wisely and productively in learning the craft.
For the Teachers, Parents, and Learners
Pray. There is nothing more powerful than prayer. God is in control and He knows what is best for everyone. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future,” Jeremiah 29:11
The challenges brought about by the pandemic is different to each person and each family. Some are blessed to be at the comfort of their homes watching Netflix while other families struggle to even feed themselves a decent meal because of the loss of income. No one is exempted from the ill effects of COVID-19. Let us just hope and pray and work together as one Filipino nation in winning the war against the invisible enemy.