Technological advances available in the market will enable more students to overcome common barriers to education, said Philippine School Doha (PSD) principal Dr Alexander Acosta, citing the advantages of remote learning education.
As PSD gears to welcome the new academic year in strict compliance with health and safety guidelines, Acosta said the existing alternative learning delivery modes comprise virtual learning and the use of instructional e-modules that contain various reading materials, exercises, and tasks that students can work on in their homes.
“The remote learning of PSD can provide normalcy for students. This will bring back their routine and keep them in touch with classmates and educators in a class-like setting.
“Having some type of synchronous (live) video interaction, at least occasionally, can be especially beneficial as this goes furthest to mimic in-person social interactions,” Acosta said in a statement to Gulf Times.
Also, Acosta said the school management recognises the value that PSD counsellors can add to help students and families continue to feel connected despite the physical distance. The school counsellors will be a vital resource in preventing, intervening, and responding to crisis situations, he stressed.
“The guidance counsellors of PSD will serve as the key to providing grief and crisis support in a virtual setting. They will be arranging time to check-in with all students, not just those who are considered high-risk, in an attempt to gauge how they are coping with the current situation,” Acosta explained.
The principal also stressed that the school will always prioritise the health and safety of PSD students, and “will never take chances of putting students at risk while the threat of pandemic is not totally exterminated.”
According to Acosta, ‘blended learning’ or face-to-face classes “is the very least option” to be implemented “if there is no assurance and approval coming from the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, respectively.”
“Unless necessary health measures such as vaccines or other medical remedies are available and are administered to students by proper medical authorities, this blended learning will not be utilised,” Acosta emphasised.
He added: “The school requests the collaboration of all to have an open mind and to allow PSD the opportunity, over the next months, to orient and inform everyone how this will be done effectively. PSD believes that the Covid-19 pandemic should not be a deterrent in providing quality education and a better future.
“PSD considers that everyone must make a rigorous determination to ensure that children are not deprived of their basic right to education and protected at the same time.”
Acosta said the PSD school management is reiterating its dedication to cultivate a comprehensive learning continuity plan to address challenges “through the essential tunings in the curriculum alignment of learning materials and pertinent support to teachers, students, and parents.”