STUDY by T4 Education and EdTech Hub showed that technology limitations are the biggest barrier to achieving an effective online learning modality for students and teachers in the Philippines, especially amid school closures due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In particular, the high cost of data, sharing of gadgets with siblings or parents, and lack of interaction during classes, as well as the failure of education assessment methods to accurately gauge student progress and identify learning losses have put pressure on the country’s educational system. .
The study showed that with parents struggling financially due to the pandemic, the access to devices specifically for learning purposes and stable internet connection were a problem for students, and teachers would have a hard time monitoring their students’ progress and tracking their learning.
Teachers from the Philippines interviewed for the study reported that they tried to broadcast their lessons through Facebook Live but there was a drawback due to lack of interaction which resulted in inefficient workflows and students sending their teachers multiple direct messages, which in turn, created significant workload and stress, as well as financial cost to teachers and extended work hours.
“The extreme challenge placed on teachers in [the] Philippines and around the world to provide continuity of learning for students in a long-term emergency environment is something from which we must learn,” EdTech Hub Executive Director Verna Lalbeharie said.
The study urged the Philippines to invest in effective ed-tech tools and techniques to address the learning gaps.
Lalbeharie emphasized that teachers should be provided with evidence-based, effective tools and assessment systems that will address the learning losses exacerbated by the pandemic.
She, however, also recognized that no technology could replace the art of good teaching, but she said that having these tools available would ensure that the country is prepared to monitor students’ learning progress the next time a crisis forces schools to close.
T4 education is a global organization committed to providing engaging tools, initiatives, and events for teachers to improve education, and the EdTech Hub is a global research partnership that aims to empower people by providing evidence they need to make decisions about technology in education.
DepEd assured that it will not abandon online learning in its future education plans, especially in ensuring that Filipino learners are equipped with the necessary digital skills as they enter the workforce and into the fourth industrial revolution.