By Tracy Cabrera
IT’S in the hands of President Rodrigo Duterte if limited face-to-face will be allowed by January next year although the education sector is already preparing for this eventuality.
Presidential spokesperson Atty. Harry Roque made this disclosure as he also revealed that the government targets to place all areas in the country under the most lenient general community quarantine or MGCQ by the first quarter of the following year.
Classes resumed last October 5 nationwide with schools utilizing distance learning modality— a combination of online and modular learning—as campuses stay closed and physical classes remain suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Roque said that preparations are still ongoing although the decision will still be up to the President, but he noted that resuming in-person classes would depend on the prevalence of the new coronavirus in different localities.
“We will monitor the developments and DepEd (Department of Education) will continue to prepare. But let’s see what’s the actual condition when it comes to the prevalence of coronavirus in different parts of the country,” he said.
Despite the conduct of distance learning since October, education experts believe that face-to-face learning is a really effective way to learn knowledge and skills because it often combines different ways of learning including writing, reading, discussion, presentations, projects, group work, film clips, demonstration and practice.
They enumerated several advantages of face-to-face learning in the classroom, among them the ability of learners to concentrate harder on their studies because there’ll be less distraction than if students were at home and gaining greater understanding through stories and real-world examples from teachers and other students.
“You have a greater chance of completing your course successfully by doing it in a classroom situation,” the experts said as they cited completion rate of teacher-led classes at almost 5 times higher than that of online learning.
Added to this, they said that students may feel more comfortable and learn more easily in a familiar, traditional classroom situation.
“You can access more information and richer understanding through teacher and other students’ body language and voice and you have the opportunity to connect with, problem-solve, and network with other students from a wide range of backgrounds,” the experts pointed out.