Reports of the existence of an Online Kopyahan (cheating) Facebook group should be a serious cause for concern of the country’s educators as “it exposes the limits of the current education set-up” in the country.
Rizal 2nd District Rep. Fidel Nograles warned that the existence of such social media group should serve as a warning on the effects of online learning.
“This is but a symptom of a bigger problem,” said Nograles.
“Since last year, we have heard of the effects of online learning on the mental health of our students. As such, we need to be more understanding and solve this issue without being too punitive,: he said.
The Harvard-educated lawmaker explained that the sudden shift from classroom learning to online and modular education is a heavy burden on the part of the students. In an online survey by the Movement for Safe, Equitable, Quality and Relevant Education (SEQuRE) conducted from June 25 to July 2 this year, it is found that 66% of students under online learning said that they learned less as compared with traditional face-to-face classes.
However, he is quick to clarify that he is not advocating for the immediate shift to face-to-face classes.
“As of now, we need to understand that the government is just trying to protect our youth, a large percentage of which are not yet vaccinated, from COVID-19,” he said.
“A lot of us want to go back to traditional classroom learning in the soonest way possible but we need to make sure that it will be safe, not just for our students but also for our teachers,” Nograles stated.
Nevertheless, the administration lawmaker welcomed the decision of President Rodrigo Duterte to allow face-to-face classes in a maximum 120 schools located in areas with low or zero risk of effects of the COVID-19 epidemic.
The Rizal solon also stated that he supports the call of various groups for a ‘Ligtas na Balik-Eskwela’ but asked for understanding and openness in working with government as it will be counterproductive to return to classroom-based learning in haste without carefully studying how to protect students and teachers.
“What must be done is to address the effects of the temporary online educational set-up on the youth. We do not want them to feel neglected,” he said.
Nograles added: “We do not want them to study just to pass their subjects, which I think is the reason why online cheating happened, but to learn and value the real meaning of education in their lives.”