By Ellen Jane C. Ragasa
All of a sudden everything has changed in the blink of an eye when President Rodrigo Duterte declared a community quarantine on March 12, 2020 due to the increasing number of COVID 19 cases in the country and one of the early casualties of this is the education system in which all schools are being ordered to close and every learner goes to distance learning; this drastic paradigm shift in the Philippine education system posed a lot of confusion and problems since everyone is not used to this kind of scheme and the readiness is also uncertain.
Seven months have passed since opening of the school year but still, challenges arise even though closing of the academic year is approaching. One of which is the mental exhaustion or stress brought by the on-going threat of the virus but more so, the hardship of learning at home.
“Distance learning brings problems especially to those who have difficulty in studying alone like me, it is really hard to learn without real interaction with teachers and students,” said Maecy Vadivale, a student from San Fermin, Cauayan City.
Though this new system has taught her a lot like being totally independent, time conscious and value education so much during this pandemic however, she feels it is very hard to escape from ‘school scenario’ since everything now takes place at home, destressing has become more difficult for her because she feels school is there the entire day she added.
Parents also have their own cries worries since they are also in the forefront as regards to educating their children at home.
“As a parent, distance learning helps in maintaining the safety of the students and teachers. But it is also hard for them because not all students can adjust and learn easily. Not all students have gadgets and internet connections; not all parents have enough capability to teach and guide their children and these bring so much stress on us,” Kathleen Coloma of Reina Mercedes, Isabela.
Stress mechanisms among students and parents are really necessary to keep a healthy body and sane mind during the onslaught of this pandemic.
“Whenever I feel really stressed out and I am in the verge of giving up, I rely on these coping mechanisms to distract myself from unpleasant thoughts so I play online games and watch BTS contents for a while. During the weekends, I and my family play outdoor games,” said Sid Micah Tamayo of Luna, Isabela
According to Evelyn Salazar, mother or three students two high school and one elementary, pressure is doubled as she performs her duty as a working mom and now as a teacher also to her children. To avoid anxieties, she sees to it that they have a weekend bonding after a long tiring week of modules and other related tasks.
Generally, parents view distance learning good for their children at the moment, to keep them away from the harm of COVID-19. The parents have reiterated that as long as they study well at home and they maintain good mental health, it is the best way for now.