The year 2020 came with an excitement for all of us as it’s a year of a new decade where everyone has enjoyed 31st with a high spirit but none of us were aware that with a new decade this will be the start of a devastating year. As we all get the news about the vast spreading of this virus known to be as Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2) which the original source of viral transmission to humans remains unclear, as does whether the virus became pathogenic before or after the spillover event where we even not have imagined that a single virus can change our lives rapidly and completely. The New Normal Education is created after the COVID-19 pandemic has affected education in the past few months. The Department of Education (DepEd) found ways to embark the start of academic school year 2020 – 2021 by means of new ways of learning. We have looked at how people are adapting to isolation and lockdown, and the physical and metal needs that are arising as a result. Students are facing unprecedented levels of uncertainty, disruptions, and stress as they try to make sense of new and constant demands and requirements and if we ignore these stressors, they can significantly interfere with students’ learning and performance.

What do you feel the most exciting or effective learning environment would be? The purpose of this new normal education aims to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of the learners, teachers, and personnel in the time of COVID-19, while finding ways for education to continue amidst the crisis. Despite the fact that we don’t know exactly how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting academic performance, our own experiences and observations suggest that the substantial loss of learning time, coupled with the sudden and challenging shift to remote learning or home schooling are having an impact on academic performance and learning. As of August 11, 2020 latest data from DepEd showed that there are 24.72 million who enrolled in basic education this school year, representing 89.02 percent of the student population of 27.7 million in 2019. DepEd Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan said the enrollment rate is around 83.1 percent the of last year’s figure of 27.7 million.

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Do you feel that the current way we are educating children fully prepares them for the needs of the 21st century? Teaching in the new normal especially online classes, must allow students to be engaged in which the challenge to teachers is to make the instructional design meaningful, memorable, motivational and in the end, measurable. We are now currently facing a situation that is different from what has been experienced or done before but is expected to become usual or typical. We need to embrace the new normal education even we are expected to face another challenge apart from the pandemic. During new normal education, we cannot miss the different preparation to start the online distance learning, the internet issues and connectivity, and the curriculum and educational materials. Last November 1, 2020, Philippines was hit by the most strongest typhoons in 2020 where 700,000 children were affected by typhoon Rolly/Goni according to UNICEF and according to the Department of Education said that 11 million students on all levels were affected by the suspension of classes following typhoon “Ulysses” that happen last November 8 – 15, 2020.

On the other hand, even we are facing disadvantages in our new normal education; Schools and community learning centers, under the guidance of DepEd Regional and Division offices, will be allowed to choose relevant and appropriate alternative learning delivery methods which best fit the context and/or health situation in their community. We can still get advantages in this new way of learning despite this pandemic. We can have the advantage of self-paced and holistic learning, we can also improve our virtual communication and collaboration, better time management or flexible timing, having refined critical thinking skills and lastly, we can save money that could possibly help in our needs. However, despite efforts to offer different options to make education more accessible and inclusive during the so-called new normal, not every student has decided to return to school. “It is clear that the most deprived and marginalized children are being hit the hardest by the pandemic, exacerbating existing inequalities and pushing the most vulnerable children even further behind,”  Inger Ashing, chief executive officer of Save the Children International, declared.

Lastly, technology is becoming an even bigger part of the student and faculty experience as classrooms prepare for the new normal. Nonetheless, the need to be prepared for the ever-changing scenarios brought on by the ongoing pandemic is a significant challenge of the new normal. Meanwhile, accessibility is another important factor as they transition to new technologies and delivery methods. Students who need to use the internet to access materials, lectures, and learning activities must have adequate hardware and secure networks.

 

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