MANILA - The Philippine educational system is moving towards a “hyflex” or hybrid and flexible setup where educators and students do not need to be physically in the same room all the time to learn, an official of major computer maker Lenovo said on Wednesday.
As the government slowly allows schools to resume face-to-face classes as COVID-19 infections decline, Lenovo Philippines general manager Michael Ngan said education will not likely be going back to purely physical classes.
“Hyflex will stick in the new normal,” Ngan said during an online briefing on the company’s EdVision initiative.
Classes can be conducted with students physically present in the room, but there can also be students tuning in remotely online, with the teacher monitoring their presence on a big screen at the back, Ngan said.
While some students may want to attend classes physically, others may not and schools will need to accommodate them.
“The hybrid classroom is here to stay,” Ngan said.
There is more to online or hybrid learning than simply having teleconferencing systems lie Zoom or Teams, he said.
One challenge for educators implementing hybrid learning setups is ensuring that students who go to classes online will have the same level of engagement as those in in-person classes.
Ngan said a major concern is distraction, as students may instead be drawn to playing games, or searching Google or browsing social media.
Lenovo, he said, has a system that addresses this which allows the teacher to control the device of the student during class hours.
“Lenovo, as an intelligent education solutions provider, is enriching the hybrid learning experience by providing solutions that make the modern classroom more interactive and collaborative for both students and teachers, as these will be the key to keeping students engaged with both their peers and their lessons,” Ngan said.
The Philippine educational system was not prepared to go digital when the pandemic hit two years ago, he said, noting that there was a scramble for devices during the first year.
While the pandemic sped up digitalization, there are still of lot of laggards when it comes to adopting digital learning, he said.
Ngan however also said that several major educational institutions are already getting ready to adopt hybrid and flexible learning for the next school year.
As of March 5, at least 6,121 schools across the country are currently holding limited in-person classes, based on data obtained by ABS-CBN News from the Department of Education.
The Philippines is one of the last countries in the world to resume in-person classes amid the pandemic.