by: Ranya Ecaldre || Photo credit: Ranya Ecaldre
After almost two school years of online learning, the Philippine Science High School – Eastern Visayas Campus (PSHS – EVC) finally implemented the pilot in-person classes last April 4 and 6. The pilot batch consisted of sixteen Grade 11 students divided into three sections based on their science core subjects: Biology, Chemistry, and Physics.
Following a blended learning system, students underwent face-to-face sessions for their science core subjects and online classes for their humanities subjects. Sessions were conducted while observing health protocols such as wearing masks, handwashing, and social distancing. The students were also given health kits containing face masks, sanitizers, tissues, and face shields.
In their respective classes, all students were assigned their permanent seats spaced out within the classroom to avoid physical contact. A plastic barrier was also installed on the teacher’s table to avoid the possible transmission of the virus. Each classroom was further equipped with two alcohol dispensers for sanitizing and exhaust fans to improve ventilation.
Sessions for online and in-person students were done simultaneously. Some activities, however, were exclusive to the face-to-face students. Physics students conducted a laboratory activity regarding their topic on relativity, while Biology students roamed around the campus for their exploratory activity on their lessons in bryophytes and nonvascular plants. Chemistry core students also experienced interactive discussions with the help of physical molecular models.
According to the students, the face-to-face discussions were more interactive and effective than online classes. Jhun Kenneth Iniego, a Chemistry core student, said that it was good to finally meet his friends after two years. Frances Canicon, a Physics core student, expressed that, compared to the online setup, face-to-face classes were more effective because they get to concentrate and focus well in the classroom due to the absence of distractions as compared to in their household. Job Beau Linao said that it was easier and more enjoyable because they had the chance to bond with the other students.
“It also allows a direct confrontation with the teacher, so slow internet does not become a hindrance when learning,” Jude Lagramada added.
While the overall response was positive, students also expressed their concerns about the slow internet connection, the prohibition of roaming within the campus, the short amount of time spent in school, and the slight inaudibility of teachers during discussions.
Unfortunately, due to Typhoon Agaton, the second week of face-to-face classes was canceled and will resume in May for Block B of the fourth quarter.