As the country moves on its second week of school opening, a new challenge in the implementation of distance learning was exposed — online cheating.
A Facebook group called “Online Kopyahan” came to light over the weekend as it was used to leak answers from online learning tests, exams, and modules. Answers to questions for different subjects can also be found in this group.
Before it became inaccessible, the said group has almost 700,000 members.
‘Tip of the iceberg’
For a youth group, “Online Kopyahan” is just the “tip of the iceberg” which results from a “rotten learning set up” that the country has.
School Year (SY) 2021-2022 formally opened on Sept. 13 under a distance or blended learning set-up.
For the Samahan ng Progresibong Kabataan (Spark), the emergence of online cheating is “no longer alarming.” Spark said that under distance learning, more and more students would resort to such delinquency because they are “burdened with too much school works” — forcing them to just comply and not learn much from the tasks given.
“Material conditions of students aren’t even taken into account,” Spark said in a statement on Monday, Sept. 20.
The group added that there are still a lot of students that do not have proper gadgets to keep up with learning nor have decent internet connection to be able to do research.
While some, Spark said, may not have “enough time” to complete an overload of school works because they have other work to do.
“You can’t blame them for having to resort to cheating, or any other actions analogous to this,” the group said.
“Controversial as it may be but clearly the education agencies’ should not be surprised with such an scandalous outcome. They had it coming,” Spark added.
For the group, the mere existence of this kind of Facebook group does not fall far from the World Bank’s report last July on Filipino student proficiency.
“It can be remembered that Education Secretary Liling Briones even demanded an apology from the World Bank as the 80% poor learning results stemmed from 2018 and 2019 data,” Spark said.
However, the group noted that contrary to Briones’ claims that a lot has changed already, “the cheating incident only manifests that their haphazard implementation of the blended learning scheme is flawed and they are merely going through the motions without a blueprint of how to safely return to face-to-face classes.”
Spark also pointed out that education conditions “only worsened” amidst the pandemic.
Given this, Spark continued to demand its calls for an education that “prioritizes the quality of learning that students receive rather than forcing students” to submit a ton of schoolworks.
“As long as the education system is designed without the students’ learning in mind, we can never stop students from taking necessary means to comply and keep up in this rotten system of learning,” Spark added.