Distance learning resulted in ‘dismal’ learning outcomes — survey

Published July 16, 2021, 7:00 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

The hardships of teachers, students and parents during the implementation of distance learning in School Year (SY) 2020-2021 “failed to translate” to better learning outcomes, a multi-stakeholder survey said.

A jeepney was converted into learning space (MARK BALMORES / MANILA BULLETIN)

“By the end of the school year, majority of teacher-respondents (52 percent) noted that about four to six in every 10 of their students lagged behind with their studies, in terms of their overall attendance to online classes and submission of modules and other requirements,” a survey conducted by the Movement for Safe, Equitable, Quality and Relevant Education (SEQuRe Education Movement) released on July 15 showed.

It was also noted in the survey that “it is apparent that the lack of teaching and learning resources, as well as the ill-designed distance learning program hindered effective remote learning.” To assess the one-year implementation of the distance learning program in public basic education in the country, SEQuRe Education Movement conducted the said survey from June 25 to July 2, 2021.

The said survey was participated in by 5,749 respondents: 1,278 teachers, 1,299 Grades 4 to 12 students, and 3,172 parents who were mostly from Metro Manila.

‘Grimmer’ picture

Based on the results of the said survey, the learning outcomes at the end of School Year (SY) 2020-2021 was much worse compared to the findings last year.

In December 2020, SEQuRe Education Movement conducted a survey to assess the first quarter implementation of distance learning. In the said survey, the “largest portion of teacher respondents said that one to three in every 10 of their students were not keeping pace with their lessons.”

In the latest survey, SEQuRe Education Movement survey noted that the “picture is grimmer” based on the responses of the participants.

“Parents confirmed the dwindling student participation and performance as 60 percent of them said that their children have experienced missing online classes or failing to submit academic requirements,” the survey showed.

This rate, the survey noted, is higher among student respondents wherein 73 percent confirmed that they have “been absent on online classes or failing to turn in modules on time.”

Asked why they were absent in online classes or why they failed to submit their modules, some student-respondents said the “academic requirements were too many while they were given too little time to accomplish them.”

Others said that “they had a hard time balancing their class and household duties” while some “found it difficult to understand the modules on their own.”

Problems with internet signal and internet connectivity costs were also pointed out by several learners.

Students are shown attending an online class in the absence of face-to-face learning. (MANNY LLANES / MANILA BULLETIN)

The survey showed that an “overwhelming majority of students” or 66 to 87 percent – across all learning modalities – expressed that they have “learned less” under remote learning as compared to when they go to school.

“This dissatisfaction with the amount of learning they got from remote learning is most pronounced among students under modular learning modality,” the survey said.

Dropout rate was hard to identify

Meanwhile, the survey also pointed out the advice of the Department of Education (DepEd) against giving failing marks to students and dropping non-performing students from the rolls made it “impossible to see the drop-out rate” in SY 2020-2021.

SEQuRe Education Movement said that the surveys attempted to get the picture from the household setting by asking respondents for household members who have stopped schooling this school year instead.

“Responses cannot be dismissed as six percent of teacher-respondents admitted that at least one school-aged child in their households have stopped schooling, while 11 percent among students and 12 percent among parents confessed to the same situation in their households,” the survey said.

Likewise, the survey also showed that “majority of the school-aged children and youth identified to have stopped schooling were at Kinder to Grade 12 levels.”