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Writer-turned-vlogger appeals for understanding on online teaching amidst pandemic

Tom Kuegler—Finding Tom to his followers on social media—asked parents, children, and netizens to cut Filipino teachers some slack as education goes from the classroom to the internet.

“Don’t be so hard on the teachers right now.” This is what writer-turned-vlogger Tom Kuegler, also known as Finding Tom, said as he posted a few photos of his girlfriend Lara teaching an online class.

“I think we need to understand that school online is extremely difficult for teachers,” says Kuegler. And we are inclined to agree. The words “extremely difficult” may be an understatement, as his girlfriend has to make Powerpoint presentations for students as well as receive constant criticism from parents without so much as a complaint.

“Nobody knows the struggle of teachers right now in the Philippines and elsewhere around the world. It’s a hard job already, and it’s made ten times harder by making them teach over video calls.”

He also asked everyone to celebrate even a single piece of knowledge gained after a day spent in front of their computer or phone screen. “If your child is learning just one thing every day, that should be celebrated, because it’s a miracle they’re able to learn right now.”

It's so hard to be a teacher online. This is my girlfriend Lara. She normally works from 7 AM – 1 AM. No I am not…

Posted by Finding Tom on Thursday, August 27, 2020

The woes of many

The Department of Education (DepEd) and the Commission on Higher Education’s (CHED) decision to move forward with the school year 2020-2021 has put a considerable amount of strain on both the teachers and the school system.

Some private schools have closed down as parents took their kids to public schools to save money. Teachers have asked for donations online to purchase printers, ink, and paper for printed modules. Some students can be seen on social media asking for donations to buy a laptop, tablet, or smartphone just so online classes can be done.

Walang kapantay na sakit ang nararamdaman ko ngayon.Kung alam niyo lang kung paano namin sinisikap na walang…

Posted by Rejhon Soriano Modesto on Monday, August 31, 2020

These come from Rejhon Soriano Modesto, a college instructor at one of Metro Manila’s schools. It shows that the pandemic’s effects can be felt across the education system—from basic education all the way to tertiary school.

Karapatan ng bawat bata ang makapag-aral.[Hindi po tamad ang estudyante ko, katunayan nagdideliver po siya ng tubig…

Posted by Rejhon Soriano Modesto on Monday, August 31, 2020


DepEd, for its part, has pushed the public school opening all the way to October 5–over a month from their previous suggestion of August 24. This is to give its teachers enough time to prepare their modules for online schooling. Private schools, on the other hand, have already started their school year.

They have also reached out to private institutions to help with producing materials (modules, videos, etc.) to further reduce the burden on teachers.

Colleges and universities all over the country have transitioned to blended learning, with some even reducing the required academic load for the semester so students can continue their education even if they have fewer courses than usual.

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