As part of its response plans to the challenges of delivering quality Education in the new normal, the New Brighton School of the Philippines, Inc. (NBSPI) recalibrated its instructional methodologies to accommodate Blended Learning Modalities during the opening of classes for the First Semester of Academic Year 2020-21. After conducting a series of surveys to assess learner needs and capabilities, the administrators and teaching personnel prepared viable strategies and instructional materials to ensure that as much as possible, all enrollees are accorded educational opportunities—meaning, no Brightonian is “left behind.”
Across Senior High School strands and College courses offered by the school, orientation and consultation activities were conducted to disseminate information and introduce learners, parents, guardians, and various stakeholders to the new policies and approaches that are designed to ensure safety without compromising quality of learning. Some of the features of the Blended modality offered by NBSPI include online classes conducted via Google Meet, teacher consultations via chat tools, tests and related assessments conducted in a secure Learning Management System (LMS) called Moodle, and special modular learning through printed course packs for students with limited resources and for those who are residing outside the city-center.
The migration of learning to the virtual environment does have its drawbacks, as teachers and learners often had to grapple with issues like accessibility and connectivity but with the closing of the semester, the mitigation strategies employed by the NBSPI community and the joint efforts of learners ensured little successes that when added, prove to be curricular triumphs that benefit various types of learners across social classes.
The semestral evaluation conducted in December 2020 also revealed largely positive feedback from NBSPI students who appreciated the flexibility of the learning modalities offered. For student-employees (working students) who benefited from the combination of LMS-Moodle course packs and the recorded classes on Google Meet, the arrangement gave opportunities for them to strike a balance between their work, home, and school-life. The previous semester welcomed the first batch of Koronadal-based College student-employees who also found NBSPI’s learning modalities a desired answer to their educational needs. Likewise, scholars and regular students have similar sentiments. Despite the setbacks brought by the global pandemic, learning continues, provided there are these things in place: careful planning, sustainable methods, and an institutional drive that is geared towards the success and empowerment of its community members.
Isang pagsubok ang pag-aaral noong nakaraang sem dahil hindi face-to-face ang pagdaraos ng mga klase kundi sa virtual na enviroment. Isa sa mga hadlang para sa akin ay ang weak Internet connection. Sa kabila ng lahat ay patuloy pa rin akong nagpursige na matuto upang makapasa sa bawat subject. Bilang scholar ng paaralan, na-appreciate ko rin ang mga learning modalities. Downloadable ang modules namin sa Moodle at pwede ko rin sagutan ang mga assignments kahit offline. May personalized account kaming mga students kaya may mga features na nakakatulong sa aming pag-aaral, tulad ng pag-view ng recorded classes kung sakaling may disruptions sa connection. Kaya napanatili ko ang scholarship at kasalukuyang lumalaban sa ikalawang taon ng aking pag-aaral sa NBSPI.
- Rolee Baliguat, 2nd Year, BSEntrep, KCC Foundation Scholar
At first, I found it tough to balance being a mother, employee and a student. I have to constantly adjust my time to fulfill all tasks required of those roles. Sang umpisa gab-i na gid ako makatulog doing my assignments and these were times when I thought about giving up. But each time I see my children and hear encouraging words from my husband, I become motivated. Totoo nga na you become stronger when you get through hardship. My family motivates me to continue my battle for my dreams – for our dreams.
Now, I have already adjusted. I am lucky I am a regular employee of KCC Marbel and this served as a bridge of opportunity to pursue my studies at NBSPI. I appreciate my school because it opened the possibility for me to continue my studies while working. My teachers are also understanding and considerate and I am really learning a lot in my subjects. Bisan budlay ang sitwasyon subong sa kalibutan, waay ako nadulaan sang paglaom.
- Melody Malagamba, 1st Year, BS Development Communication, KCC Marbel Student-employee
As an SHS student, I find NBSPI’s learning modalities effective for me to be able to learn despite the situation we are currently experiencing. My school’s new normal type of learning doesn’t deprive us of opportunities for receiving quality instruction. I am still able to actively participate in virtual classes—we still hold a weekly, virtual flag ceremony! My class adviser and subject teachers are constant in monitoring our progress. I appreciate the rules that they have implemented for us students to build our self-discipline and resolve. Also, reliable learning materials and resources are provided online and offline. Quality education is not sacrificed and this, I think, opens doors for us to reach our desired goals in the near future.
- Shaira Kaye Utlang, Grade 12, Senior High School Student, HUMSS
In the early days of the semester, it was hard to cope with my studies. I encountered different hindrances such as lack of resources and connectivity problems. However, temporary lang pala ‘yun. I got inspiration from my family, classmates, and friends. I am aware of the struggles of my fellow learners, especially when trying to exhaust means to study when there is no stable Wi-Fi available. I discovered NBSPI’s LMS to be friendly: the minimum requirement is for a smartphone to have access to an Internet browser. Puwede na ang mobile data o PISO-net. Modules are downloadable and can be answered offline. Tumutulong din ang school maghanap ng paraan for students na wala talagang phone. I know some classmates who had their modules printed instead.
As for me, an IS student, virtual learning makes me eager to learn more and to strive harder for me to pass all my subjects. I am also one of the AKLAT/ EDUKAR Scholarship recipients. The school administrators and personnel were also instrumental in securing my scholarship. Tinulungan nila ako to process my requirements seeing that I am qualified for the scholarship program. Isa rin ito sa nagustuhan ko sa NBSPI. The faculty and personnel are very approachable and helpful. There is a genuine concern for students’ welfare while encouraging us to excel academically.