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Opinion

Face-to-face classes

STRAIGHT TO THE POINT - Atty. Ruphil Bañoc - The Freeman

Everybody is excited about our return to face-to-face classes. Whether we like it or not, the fact remains that virtual or online classes lack what in-person classes can provide, and that is a human touch. We are social beings. It is only natural that we want to be in the physical presence of our fellow human beings

Students and pupils experienced this fact firsthand during the height of the pandemic. They faced their laptop or cellphone screens daily, listening to their teachers who tried to gather all their energy to appear enthusiastic in the face of the new way of teaching. Teachers’ creativity and resourcefulness were put to the real test.

Another obstacle was and is our poor internet connection. No matter how interested you are in studying, if the lecture is interrupted countless times, there is no way you will learn a lot. So some chose not to attend any lectures at all, relying heavily on their classmates for answers, the act of which is, by any stretch of the mind, a form of cheating. So some get big scores --scores that they cannot hope to obtain in a face-to-face class. I’m not sure if there is truth to the observation that there are more cum laude graduates during the pandemic than prior to it.

During online classes, some devoted teachers found themselves lecturing to only five or six students in a class of, say, 50. They cannot even be sure that those who went online are actually listening. Of course, students gave a thousand and one excuses. A few of which were, I believe, true.

But we are only talking about online classes. Equally challenging, if not more, as far as absorption of the lesson is concerned, was understanding or learning the tasks on your own. Students were given booklets where they answered the questions given after, hopefully, reading the lessons. If it’s tough learning Algebra with a teacher, imagine learning it on your own. It is public knowledge that some parents did the answering for their kids. So their kids proceeded to the next grade level with empty minds.

Therefore, it is only appropriate that we thank those who worked hard to prepare our country for our return to face-to-face classes.

Also, by now, many parents must have already realized that the noble task of teaching is not easy, for they experienced doing it at the height of the COVID-19 lockdowns. There must be a level of empathy on their part today towards our teachers.

Face-to-face classes have brought smiles to the faces of our children and youth, the hope of the motherland. We must extend to them our full support. Sometimes we may find a child restless or turning into a “bugoy”, but we don’t know that inside the mind of that child are the solutions to the world’s worst problems, waiting only to be unlocked when the right time comes. The coming of that right time sometimes starts with a spark of encouragement or inspiration that the child gets from us adults. We should not deny him that.

FACE TO FACE

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