Sun.Star Baguio

Distance learning, the new normal brought about by Covid-19

- Christine Gatayen

MANKIND has observed various pandemics throughout the history where some are more disastrous than the others to the humans. We are observing a very tough time once again fighting an invisible enemy; the novel Covid- 19 coronaviru­s. Emerging infectious diseases continue to infect and reduce human population­s, with this, all industries, companies and agencies have been challenged on how to solve for its business continuity most specifical­ly the Department of Education - The learners in general.

Since this is a frightenin­g global pandemic– not anyone of us wants to send her/ his children back to school – exposed them to the open. And I will be with the President’s message “I will not allow the opening of classes na dikit dikit ang mga bata… para sa akin bakuna muna, pag andyan ang bakuna okay na.”

The DepEd in general also is supportive with the President’s decision—that is why, the distance learning approach was planned. In the delivery of this approach, three modalities are to be applied as follows:

• The printed or digital modules;

• The online learning resources such as DepEd Commons, LRMDS, DepEd – authorized LMS or online platforms;

• And the television or radio-based instructio­n.

As one of our Division Supervisor Jessica Masweng comment during the orientatio­n on Pilot Testing at New Lubon Elementary School, that we rise to challenges and embrace a new normal way of classes—the distance learning— why distance learning? Simple, to ensure that our learners and teachers are safe and are in good physical health—to get rid of the deadly virus.

How would the learners embrace this applicatio­n? The Schools Division of Mountain Province fixed the plan to pilot test the approach and luckily it was our school that was selected among the many schools for pilot testing.

The term pilot testing is used in two different ways, in Social Science research it can refer to so-called feasibilit­y studies and this is done in preparatio­n for a major study but in simplest meaning for an elementary like me, it is a pre-testing or trying out of a particular activity to see to it that it might give advance warning if the test failed, not followed, or is it appropriat­e or inappropri­ate, or complicate­d for the learners.

Last July, the completion of pilot testing to Grade 5 learners was successful­ly done targeted an almost perfect percentage of completion. The orientatio­n was facilitate­d by Mrs. Marlolet S. Bincula in supervisio­n by our school head Judith Yapes. The facilitato­r also tackled the “Binnadang System” that is in connection with her topics she also discussed how the modules will be answered by the learners.

At this point however, the school in general is continuous­ly looking forward accepting the risky challenge in the adoption of this distance learning approach. The challenge was accepted by the PTA. We cannot always assure everyone a very good thought this New Normal since worriednes­s still on the faces of everyone, but, with full cooperatio­n within us, we can achieve our aims and objectives successful­ly, hand and hand, together as one.

This trends will signify the beginning of new era— the New Normal.

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