NorMin teachers, parents share their concerns and optimism in the “new normal”


“NEW NORMAL” EDUCATION. The modules are ready for parents to pick up in front of one of the classrooms at Upper Carment Primary School, in the city of Cagayan de Oro, as transparent plastic barriers are installed to prevent possible coronavirus infections. . Parents and teachers see the challenges in the new normal mode of education, although they remain optimistic that the new experience could lead to ideas and better learning opportunities. (Photo courtesy of Kristine Eblacas)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – As public schools across the country prepare for the opening of classes, teachers and parents in various parts of northern Mindanao have expressed concerns about the challenges of the ‘new normal’ way of learning, although that they have agreed that it will also offer hope and ideas about the future of education.

When the Department of Education (DepEd) moved the opening of classes from its original date of August 24 to October 5, educators in public schools were tasked with creating modules for learners and attending webinars. capacity building to update their skills.

Dr Maria Eva Sayre-Edon, supervisor of the DepEd Education program in the Lanao del Norte division, said that since the start of the pandemic which led to a possible postponement of classes, educators have used the time to develop modules learning and other teaching materials.

“The teachers here are working hard to reproduce the modules and distribute them, despite the restrictions on movement,” Sayre-Edon said Thursday.

In addition to the printed materials, all divisions in the DepEd 10 region have been tasked with producing audiovisual multimedia materials as a learning supplement. The measure was part of DepEd’s plans to diversify its educational material, which has been adopted across the country.

Edon recognized some challenges along the way, including high printing costs, motivating other teachers to meet module development deadlines, and parents’ belief in serving as para-teachers for learners.

If there is something positive about the new modular learning method, it would be teaching learners to become independent, said Chin Lesaca, grade 8 teacher at Luz Banzon Integrated School in the city. from Jasaan, Misamis Oriental.

“There is no time to be ‘sip-sip (sycophant)’ for them to be successful. Now they should focus on their modules on how to respond to activities and parents can also monitor,” a she declared.

Lesaca said modular learning could actually provide information and inform DepEd’s vision on “teaching and learning for the 21st century”.

Adapt to change

For Erika Kristina Mortola, grade 6 teacher at the Vicente N. Chaves Memorial Central School in the town of Villanueva, Misamis Oriental, an educator must adapt to the times like a “chameleon”.

Mortola said that you have to know how to adapt to changes and that despite the many uncertainties, a teacher must turn them into opportunities that will help to continue to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 4, which is “an education. quality ”- even in the midst of pandemics.

“We have found that learners who cannot do independent learning and have illiterate parents find it difficult to understand learning, especially the elders on whom they depend cannot teach them because they do not know the concepts within the module. This is a factor that hinders the effective implementation of modular learning, especially if parents do not communicate with the teacher, ”she said.

Mortola also noted that during the “Self-Study Modules (SLM)” distribution schedule in her classroom, only half of the total number of parents picked them up. Some parents were afraid to bring BMS into school due to alarming local cases of Covid-19 in the community.

“Another big challenge is reading for learners, especially in primary grades. We cannot go and visit the learners and give them corrections or help, ”she said.


Meanwhile, high school teacher Leo Improgo-Tan III of National High School Manolo Fortich sees the humanizing experiences of the new normal learning mode.

“You can see how some parents are helping us to continue our education. We are delighted that parents always thank us for taking the time to reach out to their children,” he said.

Tan, who works and lives in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon, said other comments include some parents saying they now understand how demanding and stressful a teacher’s job can be, especially that some parents have to difficult to control or help their children learn the modules.

“It’s encouraging to see parents from backcountry communities come here to school to pick up the modules, while others have had trouble coming, they ask their neighbors to get them. . There are also parents who prefer to have electronic copies of the modules, “he said.

Challenge accepted

For a mother of five, Hanah Espinosa Carpio said she also needs to prepare to help her children learn by studying the modules, acknowledging that the new learning modality can compete with her daily household chores.

“But (we) have to be patient and we have to study more, as a mother,” she said.

Carpio has kindergarten students from grades 2 to 4 at Camp Evangelista Primary School; another in 8th grade at the National Secondary School in Parag, all studying in the city.

She said she had to manage the time first to understand what is written on the different modules.

Work-family balance

Mary Chol Marquez, mother of a grade 1 student at Macanhan Elementary School, said it may be too early to really tell about the struggles of parents engaging in learners’ learning progress .

However, Marquez said she can already attest that parents may have difficulty using the mother tongue as the primary language used in texts for some of the modules.

“Since my daughter is transferring from private school where English is the main medium of communication and teaching, there may be some difficulty in the transition. the language (mother tongue) for teaching, ”she said.

Marquez also said that by choosing modular learning, she believed that she could balance the time between work, babysitting, household chores while still leaving time for her child’s learning.

She said she realized that parents should also study the module in advance so that they can provide the correct instruction.

Similar feelings on the part of both parents were also shared by Lurpee Gulle, whose son is now in 7th grade and studying at Lapasan National High School.

“The capacity of the child depends on his relationship with the parents. For me, I am a strict mother, but I might have difficulty sharing the lessons with them on subjects that I do not know or do not master, such as Filipino. , and also subjects that do not interest him, “she said.

There were also distractions in the house as it is a “comfort zone” for her child to sleep and not make the module deliverables on time, she added. (ANP)

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