July 14, 2024

On blended learning

Enrollment is going on to accommodate around 27 million students even if we are not sure when classes will start.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the President said that until a vaccine is available, he would not allow classes to resume. But it takes years to formulate an effective and safe vaccine. Shall we just wait for it to be developed and be left behind?
We hear education officials talk about blended learning or distance learning. But our schools are not digitally networked. Our Internet service is slow and is not available in remote areas that do not even have power supply.
It takes billions to fund laptops and desktops to be provided to teachers. Many households could not afford to have personal computers and students and teachers are not familiar with updated digital technologies.
Radio and television as a medium of instruction can be used but on a limited scale to cover the overloaded curriculum across several grade levels, and it is costly since the air time will be paid.
It also pays to streamline the too many subjects being taught to concentrate on essential things that students need to learn.
Workbooks could be prepared and printed and distributed by teachers to households but it involves huge amount and tedious to do.
Having a national broadband network proposed many years ago could help as a medium of instruction and it should now be a priority program of the government.
But nothing can substitute actual teacher and student interaction to develop the youth as long as we prepare and observe safety measures on Aug. 24 when schools open and classes resume. — PERCIVAL B. ALIPIT, Baguio City