The year 2020 is a game-changer for everyone. Out of necessity, the pandemic has made people re-evaluate the way things have always been done, not just for adults, but for children as well.
When schools had to stop classes and close their doors because of the community quarantine, both the parents and the country’s education system needed to come up with new ways to continue with the children’s education while keeping them safe. This transition to distance learning presented both new challenges and opportunities in their approach to schooling.
From classroom to a room at home
Transitioning to distance learning takes more than just a reliable internet connection. As attested by Miriam College Nuvali’s experience when they first rolled out this mode of learning.
“This shift in learning platform means that there are some practices and programs that may not work, given our current situation,” shares Cynthia Onrubia Morales, assistant to the President of Miriam College Nuvali. There are daily online sessions when the teachers meet with the whole class, paired with tasks that can be accomplished at the students’ own pace at home. They had to do away with clubs, monthly culminating activities, and after class activities, as well as quarterly examinations. Rather, the grades are based on student participation and performance/project-based tasks.
For parents, this new way of going to school meant taking a more active part in their children’s education.
Bianca Perez and her husband were nervous at first about online distance learning, mainly because it was something new. As they decided on their options, they decided to continue their daughter’s education with Miriam College Nuvali.
“Prior to school opening, we prepared by setting up a dedicated classroom area in our daughter’s room with good internet connection,” Bianca said. “We also taught her how to use an iPad and laptop for learning — not just for playing.”
Ivan Tan shared that distance learning was a big challenge for his daughter Sophia at the beginning. “She loves to have small talks with everyone,” he explained. “Distance learning limits her ability to interact with her schoolmates and teachers.” Back when school was open, she used to ask her parents to pick her up late from school so she could have extra time to spend with her classmates.
As both parents and children have had more time to adjust to their new normal, they started to appreciate the opportunities given to them by distance learning.
Ivan said, “Sophia was able to familiarize herself with the usefulness of gadgets other than just for gaming purposes. She has learned to be more independent, researching on her own various topics.”
“Distance education pushes students, teachers and learning partners to learn new systems, software and applications. Personally, I never realized that you can do so much in Google Drive until today!” Bianca said.
And since the school sessions are now shorter than regular school hours, it leaves more time for learning other skills such as touch typing, journaling, and drawing. “And most importantly,” Bianca added, ”Because we spend more time together, we get to influence and build Godly character by teaching her responsibility, humility and discipline.”
A conducive environment for living and learning
Now that families are spending more time at home together, houses are no longer just for sleeping in, but rather for living in.
“We are thankful to have moved to Nuvali before this pandemic started. Being in a peacefully secluded yet accessible community helped make distance learning, and quarantine in general, become stress and worry free,” Ivan shared. Because of the size of the community, they never felt like they were cramped and in quarantine.
“Our environment plays a big role in helping us cope during the months of quarantine and transition,” Bianca agreed. “I am glad that we have a lot of open space inside the village where we could run, walk our dog, scoot and bike even when our facilities and amenities were close for several months. We don’t feel cooped in.”
In a year marked by many unprecedented events, Nuvali has proven that it has created the ideal community that lets its residents thrive despite the pandemic, nurturing a holistic lifestyle in a perfect residential setting where everyday conveniences are never too far.