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Embracing new normal education amid COVID-19 health crisis

For two years out of their classrooms now, most of the students from different levels are dealing with the new normal education, either via online or modular learning amidst the ongoing global health crisis.

The abrupt shift of education structure from face-to-face to virtual education has caused anxieties to most students and parents especially here in the Philippines. The COVID-19 situation caught them unprepared and students encounter difficulties in dealing with the new normal in learning.

Martin Francesco Atilano, a third-year junior high student in Ateneo De Zamboanga University emphasized that he is still in the process of adjusting the current education system.

“I am still trying my best to adapt to the new normal in learning,” he said during the Kapihan na Zamboanga sa SM City Mindpro on November 10.

During this unfortunate event, many have raised concerns and distress on the education schemes, yet they have no other options; for this is the only intervention that allows students to continue their education rather than leaving it hanging.

“The pandemic is really challenging for us (students) as if we are riding in a roller coaster as education providers changed their system toward digitized learning,” Atilano affirmed.

The junior high student also shared that he experienced several difficulties in using digital platforms, such as power outages, poor. internet connectivity, and an uncomfortable learning space where noises from their colleagues can be detected, as home and school is now in one roof with the same environment.

“Digitized learning is more on paper works, performance tasks, written works like info graphics and videos,” Atilano added.

Indeed, the new normal in learning really tried the patience of the students.

In spite of these, the education providers are really doing their best to ensure quality education and consistency during this trying time.

Coping up with the difficulties

As a vulnerable sector, the youth is experiencing the punitive effects of the pandemic, as it brought mental and physical changes such as prevalence of stress, depression, anxiety, and disturbance of daily routine. One of the contributing factors is the student’s dealing with the new normal in learning. They need to cope up from these!

We can’t change the hands of time and students need to adapt the new learning schemes in the era of the new normal and reprogram themselves to see reality.

“It is hard to adjust but I take everything and told myself to embrace it positively than to keep complaining to the new system,” Atilano said.

As far as education is concerned, Atilano advised his fellow students to find motivation in order to cope up with these struggles and to always be thinking positive in the midst of negative situation.

“God and my family is my inspirations in this endeavor,” he said.

No matter how hard it is for students to deal with the online and modular learning, the bottom line is, one gains learning and that education is continuous. The generation now is lucky to have online platforms that easily connect people in pursuit of online learning.

Until now, one cannot yet identify when to surpass this pandemic and when can one engage with the physical classes in our country as the threat of COVID-19 continues to grow and variants are getting aggressive as day goes by.

Education is one of our priorities and we need to complete it through the new normal in learning, even with the fears of COVID-19.

“This is our time to shine! Let us show the world that the lockdown generation are resilient,” Atilano exclaimed. (RVC/JRA/PIA9-Zamboanga City)

About the Author

Jayson Aucensillo

Job Order

Region 9

Jayson R. Aucensillo is a Public Information Assistant and acting Regional Executive Secretary to the Regional Director. The focal person of the Ivolunteers Network in Zamboanga Peninsula that comprises school leaders of different states, colleges and universities. 

He is a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Development Communication (DevCom) major in Peace Journalism and an advocate of LGBT+ rights. He is also a developmental journalist who writes about the works of the government.

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