How Will They Learn?
There would be times you have to prioritize; times when you have to pick one of the other because picking one simply won’t’ do. Like the time I brought my exam reviewer to watch a movie, I realized I could not do both at the same time. I would have to focus on watching the movie or read my notes when the lights turned on or with a flashlight. Too bad, I could not do both at the same time. It would have been wonderful if I could. Since I could not do that, maybe I would try jogging under the rain with my clothes not getting wet. What do you mean I could not do those both too?
It’s nice that some of the people who are in charge have this admirably great appreciation and concern for children’s learning, sprinkled with concern for the development of resilience. We also encountered some devotion to the school calendar the world has not witnessed before.
I chatted with a friend in Legazpi, and she told me that even there, there have been quite a number of class suspensions. Yes, it had been raining, and it’s been raining hard. It could be sunny in the morning and would be raging rainy in the afternoon, that the flood would be levelling up quickly in a matter of a few hours. That pedicabs would be wading on streams on the streets.
What would happen to children’s acquisition of learning if they were kept from going to school due to the heavy rains?
Well, I think they would still learn. Even in suspension of classes, children would and could still learn. (Come on, it’s not like 20% of the school days have been suspended.) Seriously, there are various activities that children could engage in to continue to learn. They could review their notes, read in advance, read supplementary materials. It’s even easier today with the accessibility of the Internet. Opportunities of learning have developed far beyond what our grandfathers could imagine. Occasional breaks from activity actually develop the activity. Imagine if you run continuously, you would eventually wear yourself out that you may still be running but you’re actually slowing down. Taking a few breaks may actually increase the ground you cover because you save up more energy for the resumption of the run.
What could happen to learning if they still come to school in the heavy rain? There is high probability that the children could be anxious even at the start of class. They may not be very receptive in the classroom lesson because they may feel sleepy in the cold. They may feel uneasy with the fewer number of classmates because some of them simply could not come even if they want to because of flood, difficulties in transportation , fever and other rain related reasons. Learners would be less motivated. They wouldn’t achieve significant learning. So, the lesson would be taught again in a more conducive setting with the previously absent learners now present. (you wouldn’t want to leave them out just because they could not come on a rainy day, would you?)
That was just about what happens inside the classroom. Now, let’s touch on what would happen outside. Even adults could catch all sorts of ailments in the cold rain. The children could dip their feet and legs on flood water. The concern for resilience development among children is interesting. It is nice. It would be good for children to be flexible and sway with the seasons. But don’t we call the kids to go inside the house when it rains, and not send them out so they could grow resilient. In an unfavorable event like accidents or calamities, don’t we shelter first children and women. Resilience may sound good but we rightly put safety first.
What’s with the worry with the school calendar? Are not calendars made by people? Did not a certain group of people prepare such calendars, and people could in the same way, adjust those calendars. Should we follow calendars with blindness to the risks that arise on set dates? Do we proceed with a scheduled activity even if the rains rage or the tremors threaten or fires flare. Come on, certainly, we could do some adjustments in whatever calendar.
Did school children back then still go to school in the middle of heavy rains? That doe not necessarily mean it was safe and sensible and deserves simulation. So, what’s it going to be?
“In peace I will both lie down and sleep, For You alone, O Lord, make me to dwell in safety.” Psalm 4:8