Teacher couple uses love for cycling to deliver modules to students in far-flung areas

Published July 21, 2021, 5:54 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

(Photo from DepEd Philippines Facebook page)

A teacher couple in Cotabato earned praise from the Department of Education (DepEd) for finding ways to reach their students who were having difficulties in getting the printed modules needed under distance learning.

(Photo from DepEd Philippines Facebook page)

DepEd, in a Facebook post on July 20, shared the story of teacher couple John and Vivien Guadalupe, a Principal and a Master Teacher of Taculen-Malamote Elementary School (TMES) in Cotabato.

When distance learning was implemented in School Year (SY) 2020-2021, the couple used their passion for cycling to reach their students who live in remote areas.

Teacher John shared that cycling been their hobby to keep their bodies active and their minds alert. However, when the distance learning was implemented, they found a new meaning for cycling with the launch of TMES ′′Bike to School.′′ The “Bike to School” program was launched by the school as a response to parents’ difficulties in getting modules from school.

(Photo from DepEd Philippines Facebook page)

Due to to the threat of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the Philippine government has shut down schools in March 2020. While DepEd was able to open a new school year, face-to-face classes were not allowed.

To ensure education continuity, DepEd has implemented a distance learning approach. Here, multiple learning delivery modalities are made available to ensure the safety of students and teachers.

Among the modalities include online learning, television and radio-based learning, and modular learning which was either printed or offline.

According to DepEd, the printed modular learning delivery modality was the “most preferred” option of both parents and students. In this set-up, teachers print and sort out the printed modules and the parents would have to pick-up the said modules for their children.

However, going back and forth became a challenge for parents – especially those who reside in remote or far-flung areas. To address this, the Guadalupe couple thought of delivering the modules to the houses of their students to ensure that they will continue learning despite the absence of face-to-face classes.

(Photo from DepEd Philippines Facebook page)

Aside from the proper delivery of learning materials, the teachers were also able to monitor their students’ studies. At times, the teachers will also help the students understand the lessons. Through this, they were able to maintain the students’ interest in learning because it feels like they are still in schools whenever the teachers visit.

“Naisip namin na gawin ito upang hindi sila mawalan ng pag-asa at interes sa pag-aaral dahil kahit papaano ay nakikita nila ang kanilang mga guro at personal na maiaabot sa kanila ang mga modyul (We thought of doing this so that they [students] don’t lose hope and interest in learning since they were able to see their teachers who personally hand over the modules to them),” teacher John added.

(Photo from DepEd Philippines Facebook page)

Aside from helping the students, the “Bike to School” program also strengthens the camaraderie of teachers. Teacher John noted that through the activity, the weariness the teachers feel due to the changes in the education sector are somehow alleviated.

As the Philippines prepares for another year under distance learning this SY 2021-2022 set to open on Sept. 13, the Guadalupe couple also expressed hope for the continued guidance, perseverance, and patience of parents with their children for the realization of their dreams.