During the pandemic, the demand for flexible learning opportunities introduced students and their parents to distance learning in the Philippines. While some students thrived under this method of education, others struggled to cope. Now that most schools in the country have resumed in-person or hybrid classes, some parents still have mixed emotions and wonder what the best option is for their children.
Should You Send Your Kids Back to School?
With face-to-face classes, a sense of normalcy is restored. But while COVID-19 is no longer considered a public health emergency in the Philippines, the threat is nonetheless still here. Some parents are reluctant to let their children spend so much time outside, let alone spend whole days in packed rooms with other kids.
The current issues in education in the Philippines are nothing to brush off. As a parent, you now have worries beyond figuring out how to finance your children’s education. You also have to think about the best education method for them—in-person or virtual learning.
If you’re not keen to send your kids back to school, read up on distance learning in the Philippines, its pros and cons, and the resources available. You can then decide if it’s the best education option for your kids in the new normal.
What is Distance Learning in the Philippines?
Distance learning, also known as correspondence education, is a method of education where the teacher and student are separated geographically. There’s no interaction between students and little face-to-face interaction between students and their teachers.
The typical setup of distance learning in the Philippines involves modular learning. As the name suggests, the meaning of modular learning is a form of education with self-learning modules that lets students learn at their own pace. The advantages and disadvantages of modular learning in the Philippines are discussed further down below.
In a distance learning format, students may get their learning materials or modules via snail mail, e-mail, or the internet. Learning assessments can be in the form of written exams or assignments, performance tasks, or portfolios.
Students can also ask for support through the telephone, snail mail, e-mail, or instant messaging applications used by their teachers.
Distance learning initially targeted non-traditional learners, such as full-time employees or those who couldn’t physically attend classroom lectures. But now, distance education caters to almost everyone.
The effects of distance learning on students in the Philippines are polarizing—some claim this method leaves students behind because of poor implementation and others say it’s the best way forward to the future of education.
Related reading: Where to Buy Affordable School Supplies (Plus Money-Saving Tips)
Distance Learning vs. Online Learning vs. Homeschooling
Distance learning is the “traditional” self-study course. Teachers mail learning resources, or students may get them online. Students also have to complete the tasks based on the schedules assigned.
While students and teachers can use the internet to receive and submit assignments, they don’t interact via online lectures or forums to discuss the learning materials.
Some people assume that distance learning and online learning are the same. While it’s an understandable confusion, the definition of online learning differs slightly from that of distance learning. Also, online learning is not to be confused with virtual learning and e-learning, which are similar but not quite the same.
So, what is an online class or online learning? It’s a method of learning that heavily uses the internet as a tool for education. There’s a physical distance between students and teachers, but they can interact during virtual lectures and other online assessments.
Classes are often scheduled at specific times, so students need to be online to attend virtual lectures. In this setup, students can also discuss the lectures or ask their teachers questions in real time. Additionally, they can interact with fellow students via online platforms.
The effect of online classes on students varies. Online learning has positive and negative points, depending on which lens you’re looking through.
Finally, there’s homeschooling, which may sound almost the same as distance and online learning but is very different. In other countries, homeschooling allows parents to take full responsibility for their child’s learning journey. Although guided by an accredited school, parents can take part in developing the curriculum that suits their child’s needs.
🆚 Main Differences Between Distance Learning, Online Learning, and Homeschooling
You may have read many articles about online learning in the Philippines. However, if you’re still confused about what differentiates them from distance learning and homeschooling, here are three main differences to note:
Distance learning and online learning mainly differ in location. In distance learning, the teacher and the learner are physically apart due to location.
On the other hand, the learner and the educator can be physically near each other with online learning. For example, there can be online learning even when the teacher and the student are inside the classroom at the same time.
Homeschooling is like distance learning. The only difference is that parents are involved in the assessment and development of lessons, which gives them the responsibility to interact with teachers occasionally.
Online learning is part of a blended learning technique that uses both digital and traditional modes of classroom interaction.
On the other hand, distance learning and homeschooling don’t require physical interaction. The teacher and the learner interact through virtual communication platforms.
Distance learning and homeschooling are not variations of teaching styles. They are in place to provide virtual or digital teaching-and-learning interaction.
Online learning is conducted to provide different learning methods for different kinds of learners.
|Features||Distance Learning||Online Learning||Homeschooling|
|Parents need to actively help students accomplish their school tasks at home.||❌||❌||✔️|
|Students are required to attend in-school classes occasionally.||❌||✔️||❌|
|Students learn through modules alone.||✔️||❌||✔️|
|Students and teachers never interact physically.||✔️||❌||✔️|
|Parents provide gadgets and tools.||✔️||❌||❌|
|The teacher is the main educator.||✔️||✔️||❌|
|It uses traditional teaching methods.||❌||✔️||❌|
|It takes place only at home.||✔️||❌||✔️|
|It can take place inside the classroom.||❌||✔️||❌|