The Parents' Advisory Council (GEB) of the German European School Manila collected thoughts and comments from parents of our students who are now forced to undertake distance learning due to the "enhanced community quarantine" imposed by the government. Here's what they have to say:
From Imee Harle - mother of Maxi (Vorschule) and Natalie (Grade 7)
Digital Classroom was quite a challenge for a non-techie mom like me –but happy that I got to get around it and extra glad that we got to snag the “full time” of my husband at this time of “quarantine” and he was able to assist Maxi in accomplishing all tasks in a fun and relax way.
Viveca Hutchinson - mother of Jenet and Joshua Grade 10-I
Initially there was a lot of giggling and joyous laughter, then they got down to business. Whenever the teacher is online, the students are participating. But once they are left on their own devices, it gets quite difficult to concentrate with the cellphone and laptop apps working at the same time. Takes a lot of perseverance, dedication, and self-discipline for students to learn by themselves when the teacher has signed off albeit temporarily. Despite us parents looking over their shoulder.
Kavitha Subramanian - mom of Reeja Subramanian 7-I
I am the mother of a seventh grader. My daughter is academically a strong person, and I was a bit worried when it was announced as online learning. I initially thought about the process is going to be slow and might lack the accuracy of the communication between the teachers and the students. Was wondering also the teacher- student ratio and how the teacher will handle technically.
But I would say it loud now, so far it’s so good. My daughter loving it and I could even hear the teacher’s method of teaching it slow and steady, which is totally appreciable in this time of pandemic situation. I am joining hands with GESM in this. But there are certain minor things that the teachers can improve.
Like for example some of the teachers come on-line and give sheets/ exercises and leave it to the students to accomplish it, and then they become offline.
This case some students may not know to complete it or might have doubts in doing it. Sometimes it’s ok to be offline by the teachers if the students understood it completely or if not it’s not easy for the students to type stuffs to get clarified in subjects like math.
But there are many teachers who are completely on-line during the whole period and wait for the students to complete/ or ask doubts. I definitely prefer the teachers who take the core subjects to be online throughout the class hour, in order to get the class efficacy.
Here my kids (Klasse 1 and 3) are working on a remote class assignment - for my son’s class, but they decided to both do it. Slowly we are adjusting to a new temporary “normal” in our home. Feeling some sense of normalcy is always key - especially for the young children - in situations of uncertainty and it is clear the GESM team has been working tirelessly to provide this as good as possible to our children. We are very grateful for their dedication, flexibility and continued positive energy!
My experience for the homeschooling is, for the older kids (grade 7 + 9) it works mostly very well. For my younger child (grade 3) it’s still challenging for me and him, one side the media units but also the exercise he has to do for himself. But since now the teachers make a very good job.
Lady Garcia - mother of Paolo (IB-1) and Paige (Grade 5-I)
Before the Community Quarantine happened, “Distance learning” was only a plan presented to us by the school management...and now we can see it being implemented given the time constraint they have to make the program up and running. I am happy that my kids still get to go to school at the same time, but now in the comforts of their home. It is a fact that with this set up, some of us parents have become "teachers" too. During this time, the relationship between school and the home (parents) have been given an importance, that we should both work together and support the learning of the child. With this, let me express my appreciation to the teachers, and GESM staff who are working to make the “distance learning” accessible to all GESM students.
Dr. Roland Rick Lenze - Father of Franz (Grade 8-D)
Unter den aktuellen Umstaenden gibt es keinen anderen moeglichen Weg. Die andere Option waere ja kein Unterricht, das heist Ferien. Ich bin dankbar, dass die Schule und insbesondere die Lehrer diesen Weg gehen. Fuer die Lehrer ist dies ja besonders schwierig. Nochmals meinen herzlichen Dank an die Lehrer fuer diese auch fuer sie ' neuartige' Unterrichtmethode. Ich habe den Eindruck, dass sie es ausgezeichnet machen.
Under the current circumstances there is no other possible way. The other option would not have classes, which means holidays. I am grateful that the school and especially the teachers chose this solution instead. For the teachers this is especially difficult. Once again my sincere thanks to the teachers for this 'new' teaching method -- new to them, too. I have the impression that they do it excellently.
Divine - mother of Alyana (Grade 8-D) and Kimi Liepach (Grade 5-D)
Very impressed with this online learning experience of both my kids. I’am glad they are covering the planned lessons that they could have actually missed without the digital alternative. The kids are missing some practical exercises like sports, etc but this experience teaches the kids with more technology techniques a lot of adults or working professionals don’t even know it exists, such as Microsoft Teams Group/video calling. Most schools in manila have discontinued but GESM persisted. Kudos to the teachers who are still there virtually guiding our kids despite the health crisis. Stay safe everyone!