Students, teachers encounter various challenges during pilot face-to-face classes

Published January 5, 2022, 8:04 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

The Department of Education (DepEd) shared the various challenges experienced by teachers and students who participated during the pilot run after completing the five-week study on limited face-to-face classes in select schools in December.

Photo taken at Mary Perpetua E. Brioso National High School in Tigbao, Masbate during the pilot implementation of face-to-face classes in November. (Courtesy of DepEd)

In a virtual press briefing on Wednesday, Jan. 5, DepEd Assistant Secretary Malcolm Garma shared the highlights and the challenges reported by those who participated in the pilot study.

Garma noted that 12,084 learners participated in the pilot run in its fourth week. The average weekly attendance rate ranged from 82 to 84 percent.

While there were reports of students with flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough, and colds, Garma said there were no confirmed cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) among the participants.

Challenges encountered by learners

During the pilot run, Garma said that the students reported some challenges.

Due to the limited time allotted for face-to-face learning, some students said they barely had enough opportunities to make clarifications on the lessons.

Garma said that there were also learners who “cannot clearly see what written on the board due to physical distancing” while others “cannot clearly hear what the teacher is saying because of face masks and barriers.”

Some learners reported that they “do not have enough learning materials.

Some learners, Garma said, were “not yet ready for face-to-face learning,” while others had “difficulty in basic literacy.”

Aside from these, Garma also shared the other challenges encountered by learners that included difficulty of talking due to face masks and face shields; hard time viewing boards because of barriers; and the tendency to remove their face masks during classes, especially among Kinder and Grade 1 pupils.

“Learners hardly finish the activities given by the teacher,” Garma added.

Teachers encountered challenges, too

As the students, teachers also reported various challenges during the pilot run.

In particular, Garma said that teachers expressed concern about the “limited time to accommodate all learning concerns by learners.” Some teachers also reported that they have limited teaching and learning resources.

Teachers, Garma said, also raised concerns on the “unreadiness of learners in face-to-face learning.” They also experienced challenges in paying attention to learners in face-to-face and modular delivery modalities.

Just like the students, teachers also reported difficulty in hearing the learners due to face masks and face shields.

Teachers also observed learning gaps in reading and writing and separation anxiety of Kindergarten and Grade 1 pupils from their parents.

Behavioral issues, Garma said, were also observed by the teachers among the learners “since they did not come to school for almost two years.”