Other than health and the economy, education is one of the most hard-hit sectors due to the pandemic. As the world reopens and navigates its way to the new normal, young learners are caught in between shifting systems and unusual learning environments.
“We need to acknowledge that beyond decision-makers, academic advocates, teachers, and parents, these times are even more difficult for students,” said Christian Edmond Reyes, Philippines Managing Director, HP Inc. “More than ever, this is a critical period where those in education need to listen to the voice of our future generation. Knowing how students think and understanding what they need is the first step towards creating solutions that matter.”
With the aim to get into the shoes of students today and understand their story better, we had a chat with Shane*, a 17-year-old Filipino senior high student. She talked about her views on the new normal of learning while coping with learning from home.
On changing priorities and goals
One of Shane’s views that stood out was the fact that there was a shift in the overall mindset of students today as the educational system made the shift to remote learning. “Pre-COVID, the only goal for majority of us was to focus on our studies and help our families afterwards. But when your family’s main source of income is impaired, we are put in a situation where we must contribute in any way we can.” Aside from helping her mom deliver baked goods to customers and exploring creative ways on how they can market their family business further, she is also building her own livestream network in the hopes of profiting from her gaming skills. She believes she shares the same sentiment as most of her classmates who are making the move to earn first to help their families regain financial stability as a priority. This shift was also enabled by the extended school break which brought new opportunities for students to pursue passion projects or create their own start-ups.
On staying productive
“Doing school work at home demands an entirely different level of commitment and productivity,” shared Shane. Home before COVID was a comfort zone for rest and for students to enjoy their free time. Making it the main space for studying entails overcoming a host of distractions such as social media, gaming, binge-watching, helping out with the family business or doing household chores. “Not being physically in school or in the usual classroom setting makes it hard for me to accept the reality that we’re actually resuming classes,” she adds. However, this is a struggle she is willing to work on for the sake of continuous learning.
On virtual connections
One of the important reasons that makes going to school exciting and worthwhile is bonding with classmates and friends. Now that video calls are their only form of meet-ups, taking classes would seem to mean only talking purely about work. An article by the Wall Street Journal, “Wanted: A Best Friend” talked about how a close, positive friendship is an influential factor to a child’s success in school. The paper also shared, “While texting and social networking online can help maintain close friendships when children are apart, online connections also put pressure on children to have a larger number of shallow contacts or poorer-quality friendships. ”
As for Shane, “The main struggle in our local community still revolves around the inconsistency in staying connected due to technical problems like slow internet connection and the lack of appropriate devices.”
On handling the blues
“It’s inevitable to feel anxious when your daily life routine has been disrupted,” Shane explains. Beyond looking at the educational infrastructure, it is also crucial to check on students’ mental and emotional well-being. An academic journal cited that the ongoing crisis has placed an unprecedented mental health burden on students, which urgently requires further examination and immediate intervention. Constant emotional support from friends and families as well as student-centered programs will play a vital role to overcome anxiety and build resilience among the youth instead.
On finding support
Shane expressed her desire to continue her studies despite the external and internal stressors that she and other students, might be going through. “It’s about finding the right platform and support,” she says.
Shane is just one representative of the broader Filipino student population from pre-school to college who need assistance. Knowing their stories first-hand helps put clarity on the kind of solutions that can be provided. This is why HP, as a trusted technology partner, launched education-focused programs globally and locally to address families’ needs for engaging learning experiences today. These include:
- Print, Play and Learn – 200 hours’ worth of fun activities available on hp.com created to foster parent-child bonding and learning through playtime. Philippines is the top country in Asia making use of this platform to date, with over 12 million Filipino parents accessing it.
- HP LIFE – a global online program providing business and IT skills training free of charge. It offers various courses from starting a small business to raising capital, marketing and design thinking.
- Tech Hubs – a digital infrastructure to provide interactive experience to students using HP print and PC innovations. Recently, HP announced opening 20 Tech Hubs to empower 10,000 youths in underserved communities with skills of the future by end-2020. Six of these will be built in the Philippines.
HP also continues to empower Filipino youths as they learn from home by offering PC and print innovation as well as original ink and toner supplies for a seamless experience. This line-up is precisely designed to help students overcome challenges in connectivity and mobility, as well as to enable them to make the most out of their productivity.
- HP Pavilion x360 for work and play: delivers high performance with its 8th Gen Intel® Core™ i7 processor, durable 360-degree geared hinge for easy switching between laptop, tent and tablet mode, and battery life of up to 11.75 hours. To prioritize safety and convenience of shopping from home, HP is giving away free GCash Credits of up to P6,000 for every purchase of the HP Pavilion and other participating HP PCs from the HP Flagship Store at Lazada and Shopee until October 31.
- HP 200 Pro G4 22 AIO PC: a reliable large-screen companion for every child’s learning space. Its learn-from-home-ready features include a pull-up webcam which only works when the camera is in the up position to keep privacy during distant learning and a stylish three-sided micro-edge display with guaranteed lower risk for eye-strain. This is available for free delivery from the HP Flagship Store at Lazada for only P39,239.
- HP Smart Tank Wireless 515 and HP Smart Tank 500 AIO Printers: allows for wireless high volume printing from smartphones via the HP Smart App or laptop – perfect for creating journals of Print, Play and Learn activities or ensuring better retention of content for school projects or exams. To complete the back-to-school experience, HP is offering P1,500 worth of E-Vouchers for every purchase of the HP Smart Tank, redeemable at Travel Club and Bratpack online stores until October 31.
- HP Original Ink Supplies: precisely tuned for HP printers to help meet quality, safety and environmental standards. It is made more accessible with free delivery on select cartridges within Metro Manila until October 31 from the HP Flagship Store at Lazada and Shopee as well as at these authorized online resellers: ICS Online Store, We Sell It, Silicon Valley and Thinking Tools Inc.
HP also provides a wide range of customer service support to ensure uninterrupted learning. This includes Pick-Up and Return (PUR) for HP PCs with HP carepacks, HP Ink Tank and HP Smart Tank onsite next business day servicing through 24/7 digital support via WhatsApp and web, and Viber chat support at +63 917-1394357 from Monday to Saturday, 8:30 AM to 8:30 PM for all HP continuous ink supply system (CISS) printers. HP continues to provide customer services nationwide across 193 service centers, 14 of which are dedicated HP service centers.
In addition, HP customer service teams are ready to go above and beyond the call of duty so Filipino families and workers keep learning, earning and working from home with on-site support from anywhere in the country.