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· Volume II Issue IV

The COVID-19 is currently having an unprecedented impact on all students across the world. This pandemic has put significant pressure on students and has drastically altered how they all approach their academics, from school closures to online lectures and classwork. It appears that their burden is never-ending, and their assignments keep piling up. However, behind all this modular and online work, is there any real learning going on?

Before the pandemic, the world was already battling difficulties in achieving the promise of education as a fundamental human right. Despite practically universal early grade enrolment in most nations, an astounding number of children — more than 250 million – were not in school, and almost 800 million people were illiterate. Furthermore, even for those who were in school, learning was far from certain. Some 387 million, or 56 percent of primary school-aged children globally, lack basic reading abilities.

The COVID-19 crisis is exacerbating this learning crisis. It affected roughly 1.6 billion learners in more than 190 countries and all continents. The closures of schools and other learning spaces have altered 94 percent of the world’s student population, rising to 99 percent in low and lower-middle-income nations. As a result, many countries and schools have shifted to online and modular learning during school closures as a stop-gap measure.

Online and modular learning is not just a piece of cake for parents, teachers, and students. Unstable internet connection, devices that are not at par with the online school requirements, printers and bond papers for modules, and a proper studying or teaching environment at home are a few of the numerous dilemmas that we face today. Moreover, we have seen how each student struggles with this new form of learning. Additionally, they also believe that education has devolved into a never-ending cycle of missing deadlines, rushing through modules, hitting submit before 11:59 p.m., and hoping for the best. In comparison to face-to-face learning, virtual and modular teaching provides many opportunities for students to fall behind.

On the other hand, students are not the only ones feeling left behind. Many teachers and professors were utterly unprepared to be thrown entirely online during this academic year. They were forced to rethink effective ways how they could teach their students when they engage virtually. They have also lost the opportunity to ask students dynamically and lost the ability to confidently gauge student levels of engagement and motivation, both key to learning. Because of the pandemic, the main ingredient of interaction has been threatened. We are all aware of the viral professor teaching in his class, disrupted by one of his students whose mic was not muted. The student was talking to someone while playing an online game called Call of Duty (COD). This situation showed that despite the hardships of every teacher and professor, some students take advantage of the online and modular classes to relax and give time to their leisure.

As one of the teachers of modular learning, I believe that education is more than just a means of disseminating information; it is a system meant to help all students attain their full potential and enter society as complete and active citizens. The quality of education is not purely measured by the number of test scores a student can get, but it is an education that serves each child academically and developmentally.

As a student trying his best to keep up with classes when he does not excel naturally at online and modular learning can be tough on their mental health and grades. Online and modular learning would be easy to forget about without the persistent pressure and motivation from going to class every day and meeting with a teacher or professor. Disengaged students will not consume information like they would in a class they care about.

To sum it up, the COVID-19 pandemic has created the largest disruption to education systems in history. It caught us all off guard, and now we must work harder to understand all of the consequences of this pandemic's disruption to schooling. We should show support to every teacher, motivate each student, improve our school governance, address many other aspects of the learning experience, and rapidly improve the quality and accessibility of remote education.