Establishment of Community Learning Space reignites schoolchildren's love for learning
Education is in crisis. Transitioning into a new way of learning has not been easy for school children, teachers, and parents since the news was heard of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. And almost two years after the declaration of a lockdown, the digital and class divide has been alarming; the education sector is still having difficulties adjusting to the new normal. Everyone is uncertain when face-to-face learning will resume.
Even before the pandemic, there have already been problems in the Philippine educational system. And as things now stand, children are left with no choice but to answer modules with little supervision from parents and teachers. To the Philippine education's longstanding problems have thus been added the difficulties posed by the shift from face-to-face to remote learning. These difficulties boil down to the significant possibility that the schools may not effectively impart the knowledge and skills students need at a time like this. In a recent survey by FundLife, it was found out that most children struggle in understanding and answering their modules without the support of teachers or parents. Also, teachers raised a concern about the quality of education the children get since they cannot conduct face-to-face classes. They acknowledged that there really is a difference between face-to-face and remote learning. What used to be schools crowded with students are now occupied by modules, printers, and hundreds of reams of coupon bonds. Gone are those days where children can happily play and have fun learning in school.
With these sentiments, FundLife, after a thorough discussion with stakeholders, devised a plan to help children learn even when schools are still closed. The goal gave rise to the establishment of the Community Learning Space (CLS). Thanks to it, a spark of hope was created in children who lost interest in learning because of the situation now with education. With the Libertad Elementary School staff and personnel's support, the CLS kicked off on May 25, 2021, with a total of 33 children from Grades 4, 5, and 6 of Brgy. Libertad, Palo, Leyte actively participating in the said initiative. One of the CLS program goals is to establish a child-friendly, functional, and accessible learning space to motivate and encourage children to continue learning despite the situation now. The project also seeks to create a safe learning environment where teachers and students can interact and discuss subject concerns and other school-related matters.
"I am happy because starting today, I can now clearly understand the modules and answer them all because of the help of the teacher and the learning aides. Before the CLS sessions started, I couldn't concentrate on answering at home because it is too noisy and my parents are at work, so there's no one around to help me. Because of the CLS, I will now be able to answer all my modules and pass them on time," Jamilla, a grade-6 pupil from Libertad Elementary School, expressed.
FundLife has not only started restoring physical learning for kids, but it also reignited their interest and love for learning. Through fun activities conducted before each CLS session, the children are motivated to participate, finish answering their modules, and submit them on time.
"The suspension of the face-to-face classes was hard for the teachers, most especially for the learners, because we were really expecting that they would have a hard time learning all the concepts without the guidance and support of the teachers physically. But with this CLS initiative and partnership with FundLife, it will be easier for us to monitor our pupils and communicate better. There's already an opportunity to guide these children and help them improve in their learning," Ma'am Vivelyn Lumaniog, the school principal, shared.
"It feels like we are back in school again! The teacher is writing on the chalkboard. We are made to recite as well. I missed this setup. The activities we do in the space are fun and engaging, and we are given enough time to answer our modules. I'll definitely go back again until the end of the quarter," Dimple, one of the CLS participants, said.
It is undeniable that the children's love for education was reignited through the restoration of physical learning for them. To date, FundLife is coordinating with other schools and communities to reach more children who are on the verge of giving up on their education because of the troubles unleashed by the necessary shift from face-to-face to remote learning.