Constant communication needed to avoid stress, burnout from distance learning — DepEd

Published September 19, 2020, 1:39 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

The Department of Education (DepEd) has underscored the need for constant communication among students, parents, teachers, and school officials to avoid parental burnout and stress from distance learning during this pandemic.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones said that her office has been receiving feedback from parents and other adults who are monitoring their children’s education at home.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones (DepEd / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

“I have been receiving feedback from parents themselves,” she said. “This is also why the DepEd has been conducting webinars and other activities that will provide psychosocial support to parents and other adults.”

DepEd Undersecretary and spokesperson Atty. Nepomuceno Malaluan said that since classes have yet to start in public schools, most — if not all — parents who are complaining of burnout have enrolled their children to private schools.

While the the nationwide opening of classes for School Year (SY) 2020-2021 is scheduled on Oct. 5, hundreds of private schools were allowed to start their classes as early as July through online learning.

Even before COVID-19, Malaluan said part of DepEd’s initiatives is to shift into digital-assisted learning. “But now we are forced to do it on a much bigger scale,” he said.

Parental burnout and stress, DepEd said, might be inevitable this coming school year since the education system is forced to shift into distance or remote learning. While DepEd is trying to address mental health and psychosocial support needs of parents and other adults, there is nothing much that can be done at this time but to try to adjust, it said.

“This is not one-time, it’s not like having a single silver bullet (of) psychosocial (intervention) will already remove all the worries and the apprehensions and anxieties of all learners and students,” he said. “So, what’s important is the constant communication that has to happen,” he added.

Given the complexity of the current situation, Malaluan pointed out that “there’s no static formula that we can do that will solve everything.”

While DepEd foresees a school year that will be filled with adjustments based on what is happening on the ground, he said that there are ways to avoid burnout while trying to help children learn from home. “And it should be done from a learning community approach,” he said.