Two years have already passed since the outrage of the global pandemic. Two years has it been since students hid behind their pretentious, sleep-deprived condition and those consistent midnight depredations they had to encounter because of the excessive work in e-learning. And here comes the notion where students enroll not because they want to learn but because they don’t want to be left behind. Of course, educational institutions wish for the best, but they forget that students are humans.

This school year, 2021, USA introduced a new setup; alternative online classes for cycles one and two. Cycle 1 courses will only provide activities and coursework assignments during the designated cycle one week, while cycle two methods will do the same. This is “supposedly” to avoid overlap and to grasp more focus on one cycle only per week.

“I thought the new setup would be a relief for us, knowing that we would have much time to study before facing that set of subjects again. However, it took me a hard time to cope, knowing that we have so many activities to deal with that long time, which sometimes overlap the schedule of the next cycle,” said Pia Victoria Graza, a sophomore BS MLS student.

Each course, both synchronous and asynchronous classes, will be implemented, as this is to ensure that the students shall have enough time to complete their activities and assignments without interfering with the allotted time for other courses. This will also require the teachers to meet the students on time, limit the teachers’ class hours, meet the students twice a week, maximize the three-hour lecture period, and give activities after class hours.

Most concerns of the students’ experience with their professors are either the activities given during synchronous and asynchronous classes or professors setting deadlines on their assignments that are not within their scheduled cycle.

According to the USA College of Arts and Science survey, they scrutinized the experiences that the students have had with the status quo. Such questions pertain to how knowledgeable the students are with the setup, how often students forget their lessons because of the alternating schedule of classes, and their opinion on whether they would like to continue with the current configuration. “I hope the VPAA would bring back last year’s setup because we’re already tired of following one deadline after another. I am no longer learning; I have not understood the lessons as much as I would have last year,” asserted a student from the survey of the College of Arts and Science. The latter then suggested some improvisations for the students to ease the dreadful amount of work they had to do; the maximum number of the given tasks assigned to each course or teacher. In that way, the students can still manage to do their activities, coursework, and assignments without compromising learning and will not be vulnerable nor prone to further burnouts. “This cycle allows me to manage my time and activities more because if I cram, the activities for the following process will add up. But then, there are times that most of our time focused on the exercises without knowing that we were left with no time to study. Therefore, I hope there will be minimal activities to focus more on learning-based education,” added Graza.

The pandemic has been shaping the course of education ever since it happened, shifting from an unfamiliar space of online learning with teachers trying to replicate traditional classroom methods to a virtual limited face-to-face class. Unfortunately, this is just one of the many situations that the universities have to offer, as the “unknown” is still rampant until this day. Each year, students doubt whether or not to have an academic break. A one-week academic break will always be inadequate as the workload, and shifts of both the students and the teachers continued to pile up; some educational officials thumbed down this directive, entailing that classes must continue despite the quantity of their coursework.

Students have always battened down the constant struggles as they are the most vulnerable in this situation. Before, everyone decreed that education was a gateway to a progressive future; now, it becomes a dead weight—a burden, itself.

“It fels like we’re attending classes for the sake of complying with our given tasks. We’re no longer learning,” added another student from the survey of the College of Arts and Science. According to Sensei Adorador of Rappler, private and state universities are still finding gap solutions to provide a quality education for all. Still, the quality is heavily dependent on the level of digitization and resiliency against the outbreak. Not only how accessible the e-learning will the problem revolves, but when the students fail to tread their feet as a matter to keep going with their strained mental health, as they cope with learning requirements in this time of crisis. These only exacerbate the learning situation.

“Students enroll not because they want to learn, but because they don’t want to be left behind. Therefore, they attend online classes and answer their modules and course packs, not because they want to learn but because they need to comply with these requirements to get a degree and diploma,” claimed Adorador

Published: April 25, 2022