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Ranulfo L. Visaya, DevEdD

· Volume I Issue IV

Adult education experts predict that up to 40% of tertiary students will be out of date in the next decade as they work in jobs that have yet to be developed. Rapid change in technology as well as market needs, is forcing us to meet or surpass the pace, or we will be left behind.

And so there is a need to learn new ways of doing things, to unlearn old practices to fit new ones, and to relearn what slowly forgotten all-time essentials is.

Learning, unlearning and re-learning are part of human growth. Organizations can endure longer if they cope more efficiently with major crises. In particular, top management teams will benefit from exploring how to spot and resolve crises. Many different types of organizations are in severe crisis, and many organizations struggle because they respond poorly or slowly to these crises. Late and insufficient initial responses result in companies entering a "unlearning" period that is demoralizing, negative and very difficult to handle (Starbuck, W. H., 2017).

While we are all born with an immense desire to know, someplace down the track, many of us are losing our passion for learning. The pressure to excel in education, with its ever-increasing emphasis on test scores, can reduce the enjoyment of learning experience. Whatever the reasons, as soon as the basics are covered, many people want to stick to what they know and avoid circumstances or obstacles where they can screw up or be forced to learn something new, creating a clean, stable, comfortable and confined environment for themselves. Here, they do their best to shape the changes that are taking place around them—in people, events, and the general environment—to suit their current 'mental maps.' They may say they're open to change, but still do their best to stop it. The technique will work reasonably well for a while. But it doesn't do is train them to adjust to a future that could well need a whole new set of maps (Warrell, M. 2014).

At this time of the pandemic, social media is packed with calls or reminders to remain at home in line with enhanced community quarantine to avoid coronavirus spread. In certain parts of the country, however, road situations are almost like every regular day of traffic, as cars are visible. While in some public areas, people are now following the social distance rule, but there are still places that look like a normal situation. Why is it that way? Why do some of us still have trouble doing what we are asked to do, despite the urgent need? How will some of us always need time to know the importance of getting away from our daily routine?

Let’s take learning as an art and a process. As an art, it is knowing, understanding and internalizing concepts. And so for a certain practice to be applied and internalized, it has to be understood, and firstly, known. And for the present crisis, we know what the coronavirus is, its origin and all those basic information about it. Probably others may still have some misinformation or myths about it but because of the easy access of reliable sources of information, we know about it. It is much in the understanding part that we have difficulty of, understanding the repercussions and impact of not following. And so making it all the more difficult to apply or internalize into our daily routines. This adds to the feeling that generally we don’t want to be interrupted for what we used to do. This is where unlearning comes in. Unlearning as a lifelong learning strategy and an important pathway for transitions is of increasing interest to educators and human resource development professionals alike. While recognition of prior learning is widely accepted, it is less likely that development programs acknowledge this prior knowledge as a potential block to the acquisition of new knowledge and behaviors (Becker, K. L., & Delahaye, B. L. 2006).

While learning new knowledge is inspiring, any information or experience that has been gained may be counter-productive. That is what we need to unlearn. We need to find out the thoughts and behaviors that hold us back and unlearn them. Let's also think of things that aren't successful, but still, we keep doing them.

It is indeed difficult to let go of what we have accustomed to given the comfort and familiarity they provide us. Although there is thrill and adventure in the newness of experiences but such break will be received negatively because of the opposite feeling of discomfort and uncertainty.

If we extend this to various aspects of our lives and behave regularly, we will start to see significant improvements in our lives. Learning is important but unlearning is more important because it will give us a whole new perspective on our current beliefs. Let’s learn to empty our cup before filling it (Visaya, L.R., 2020).

It's our joint aim to combat the spread of the virus. And we may assume that we have accomplished our goal by putting an end to it. But we do have a greater aim to achieve, and that is to be conscientious people. After all, it is discipline that bridges the gap between objectives and achievements.

When each of us looks beyond personal happiness — the common good — then we are able to compromise. The urgent call is to be one on this journey of self-sacrifice. We're going down the road from start to finish, heading in one direction.

Indeed, the time we learn what to unlearn is the time we grow up. We become mature when we know when and how to let go of things that don’t work anymore like old and unnecessary beliefs and toxic relationships. And so there is a need to relearn the slowly dwindling values of respect for human dignity, love of family, compassion for the underprivileged and anything that helps us emerge as significant human beings.