A NATIONWIDE survey on the students’ online education experience was recently released by Radio Veritas (the flagship Catholic Radio Station in the Philippines). This survey uses a stratified sample of 1,200 respondents nationwide for a +/- 3% margin of error (gathered through a text-based and online data gathering process). The following information is indicative of the respondents’ experience of their ongoing online classes, inclusive of the dates covering October 5 – November 5, 2020.
Jullianne Jhoie M. Balolong (a 20-year-old respondent of the survey from Metro Manila) shares, “Because online classes have started again, I have been feeling anxious most of the time. My mental health is currently at its lowest because of the constant problems I’ve been dealing with, namely the slow and unstable internet connection that sometimes hinder me from fully understanding the discussions online, the lack of peaceful and soundless space in our area that also contributes to the way I take online classes. Not to mention I still have duties and responsibilities as a daughter in our home so I have to manage my time on doing chores and completing our tasks given by our professors. On top of all that, anxiety has never left me because of the uncertainties of this pandemic which we are still not sure when will end. All of this takes a toll on my mental health and it feels like I am just on autopilot. I force myself to finish the tasks and assignments without thinking if I had learned or absorbed anything because it is difficult to focus on class discussions when anxiety is eating you up slowly”.
First and foremost the survey generated the following “emotions” the student felt during the course of their online classes: (1) Anxious, (2) Determined, (3) Disappointed, (4) Exhausted, (5) Frustrated, (6) Happy and (7) Sad (note: explanation for each emotion were likewise given by each respondent). Noticeably only 2 emotions (Determined and Happy) were positive emotions compared to the 5 other emotions (Anxious, Disappointed, Exhausted, Frustrated and Sad).
Another respondent, Sigie Ysabel M. Billones explains her response to the survey by saying, “After a week of synchronous and asynchronous classes, apart from exhaustion, I felt extremely sad. Learning is much more fun when you’re with your classmates who uplift you whenever you get tired; who makes you laugh and go crazy when something goes wrong, and it’s saddening because I can’t get any of those thru online classes. The past week made me realize how important those simple acts and how impactful they were. I just wish for this to be over and get back to our normal lives again. My 8th grade sister feels frustrated because she believes she’s missing out the ‘high-school moments’ of her life; cheer dance competitions, fieldtrips, Christmas parties, speech choirs, and most especially, her favorite part: singing contests. She used to join these activities during her 7th grade and it frustrates her that she cannot do these things anymore because of the new normal. As her older sister, I find it disheartening because I want her to enjoy her high school life just like how I enjoyed mine. Despite of that, we are both aware how blessed we are because we’re all safe, healthy and together”.
Overall the Top 3 emotions felt by the students were: (1) Exhausted at 34%; (2) Anxious at 30%; and (3) Frustrated at 10%. This was then followed by Determined at 8%, Disappointed at 7%, Sad at 6% and finally Happy at 5%. For elementary students the TOP 3 emotions were: (1) Happy at 35%, (2) Exhausted 25%, and (3) Disappointed at 20%. For High School or Secondary students their TOP 3 emotions were: (1) Exhausted at 49%, (2) Frustrated at 16%, and (3) Disappointed at 10%. Finally, for the College students in the survey their TOP 3 emotions were: (1) Anxious at 51%, (2) Exhausted at 22%, and (3) Determined at 10%. In all three Educational Level the common emotional response was being Exhausted.
“Our survey reveals that most of our students see the emotional problems in one’s academic journey but we must likewise help them see the opportunities in these adversities. Life will be unmeaningful if we don’t have ups and downs. We are given problems for us to be stronger, for our skills to be sharpened and for us to be closer to God. We should always remember; problems are just problems and we have a bigger God than all of the burdens that we have in life. We should turn our problem into a blessing that will make you stronger and a better person” (Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual, Radio Veritas President and CEO).
In conclusion allow me to share with you an encouraging remark also from one the respondents of this survey: “After a week of attending online classes, I feel more determined on how I can challenge myself to learn or gain more knowledge since we are having this new set-up of learning. Transitioning from a face-to-face mode of class to online class is not that easy, but instead of taking it as a hindrance I am challenging myself to be more disciplined and responsible to take all my classes seriously, so that no efforts will be put into waste. Also, this online class is testing students on how dedicated we are. I am also thankful that all of our professors are immensely understanding about our current situation regarding connectivity issues and other stuff. Above all, I was able to overcome all the problems I encountered during the first week of my online classes and I am very thankful for it” (Kurt Sean A. Doolittle, male, 21 years old).
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