MRS. MA. CARMELITA JACINTO
Malanday National High School
All too shall pass. The COVID-19 pandemic which tore down the economy of the world and sent millions of lives perished seems to have finally gotten to its end today from its last major whip and lashes January this year.
The most recently known fast-spreading last variant Omicron that hit the Greater Manila Area and nearby provinces seems to be completely subsiding today with only just a few hundred active record of cases compared with previously several thousands.
This lead the country to a new beginning, bringing the path to the new normal particularly so that the Greater Manila Area has been downgraded to lowest and more ease restriction Alert Level 1 from March 1-15.
Reaching this point, this far, surviving the disease two years after it tormented the world and made everyone scared, anxious, financially drained, worst, lost their precious loved ones and properties, it feels like we have won a battle, a hard fought exchange of fires in the ground.
Moving forward however will not free us from the memories of the hardships and struggles we had experienced during the height of the pandemic. How can we forget those most challenging days, the very difficult weeks and months in our lives, from our disrupted works as teachers, as mothers, as wives, as daughter and sister, as friend, as a colleague, as a fellow teacher, as a subordinate to our school head, to our principal when we started the blended distant learning.
We were all emotionally, psychologically, physically and even economically exhausted because of the traumatic news all around us on the wrath and havoc of the pandemic while we battle to survive. As we keep our arms up, we tend to our family, we care for our own children, we look after the safety of our elders and each member of our family.
But we all did our part, not only as a committment to our job but also as a dedication to our youth, our nation.
Department of Education Secretary Eleonor Briones is a very brilliant mind, a brave soul in the cabinet of President Duterte because she made herself right when she decided to commit the system, particularly the Filipino youth back to learning amid the pandemic. True indeed, she said, the world must not stop, the learning and the future of our children should hurdle the pandemic.
DepEd designed the distant blended learning.
Things were done under a time table, to resume classes for the 2021-2022 school year.
Teachers all over the country were trained for this. They braced going back and forth to their schools to do all the preparations. There were no vaccines yet that time and true to being a front liner, they have to be in the first row of the troops in the battle to win the learning and wisdom for our dearest future leaders and citizens of our great nation amid a health emergency crisis.
For one, the most popular and would be commonly used modular or module form was designed. The content materials were capsulised and were prepared for extensive printing. Many school officials became wary that they will run out of bond paper supply. Local Government Units (LGU)’s did their best part by alloting and releasing funds for the printing of the modules particularly for elementary pupils.
For the junior and senior high schools, online learning has also been widely applied. Lap top and internet connections and inter connectivity are separate stories that are similarly very important for the online classes. There were re-strengthened by all stake holders particularly the DepEd and the LGU.
Face to face classes has began this month for many areas under Alert Level 1 as vaccination of 12-17 years old who are junior and senior high schools has already been completed while that of 5-11 years old elementary pupils are now intensified.
Clearly, our youth’s return to their classroom is the barometer of the new normal, that the pandemic is over and in the end, the human race remain triumphant, the most brilliant, the most precious creation of God.
Today, teachers like us return to our classrooms all proud and dignified that we did not stop as the world does. We did not let the education and the future of our youth to also be infected with COVID-19.
Let the future of the Filipino youth soars high.