How to integrate pedagogy with technology was the challenge we faced during my short stint at a local city university from 2019-2020. Even before the pandemic, the education sector was being disrupted by Education 4.0, as a response to Industry 4.0, or the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Public and private educational institutions have been facing challenges even before the onset of the pandemic. There is the deteriorating quality of instructors and the politics in public educational institutions. Private schools are in the same boat in this respect.
It doesn’t help also that big business has diversified into education. Education 4.0 aims to develop multi-dimensional individuals who are capable of analytical and outside-of-the-box thinking. They should also possess multiple skillsets which is what Industry 4.0 demands. The challenge for both public and private educators is to develop an effective system of teaching which checks all the boxes of Education 4.0.
There is still the ongoing debate about socialization. The reality is the so-called digital natives don’t have the experience of earlier generations who didn’t have digital gadgets to amuse themselves with. The environment itself has changed drastically since residential communities of the past had children interacting with neighbors’ children. They went to the same nearby schools, churches, etc.
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Generally, the quality of life for the average Metro Manila resident has deteriorated. It’s more of a challenge now raising a family and working at the same time. This was even before the pandemic struck. This is why education should be among the top five election issues for 2022. The risk of conducting face-to-face classes in areas which are supposedly low-risk isn’t feasible. Not with the Delta variant now in our midst.
The elephant in the room is the fact that there are parents who don’t make a commitment to fostering an environment of excellence for their children to begin with. Economic and social factors play a large part in a child’s development. This reminds me of my own experience at OB Montessori Center, which I attended, for my preschool and primary education. Whatever I didn’t get from my parents, Montessori more than made up for. Then again, there are also other factors involved which is why there is no specific template to be followed which guarantees an ideal outcome. Maybe the solution lies in public and private school educators getting together in devising an effective and efficient combination of pedagogy and technology for the benefit of all education stakeholders.
The pandemic isn’t going to end any time soon. We can’t afford to wait for a clear path in the midst of uncertainty while sacrificing the future of the youth who are supposed to be the backbone of the future. Private educational institutions are struggling to survive while public educational institutions are bearing the brunt of coping with the increasing number of transferrees owing to the financial incapacity of parents who have become unemployed or underemployed.
We can’t afford to wait for the pandemic to end and go about with a business-as-usual attitude. Instead of being reactive, such as in the furor caused by the World Bank report, we should be pro-active. The burden should actually be borne by the Cabinet members in-charge and the lawmakers who hold the purse strings. The public and private educational sectors are both facing the challenges wrought by the disruption caused by the pandemic. The time for waiting is over. The time for action is now.
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