Exhaustion top emotion students feel amid shift to online classes: Veritas survey

Jaehwa Bernardo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 11 2020 01:22 PM

Rachel Senolos assists her two sons, Grade 5 student Billy John Salvane and Grade 2 student Neil John Salvane, in their online classes on October 5, 2020. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA – Many Filipino students feel exhausted with the conduct of online classes, according to a survey conducted by Church-run Radio Veritas.

The Veritas Truth Survey, released on Tuesday, showed that 34 percent of Filipino students said they feel exhausted with their online classes while 30 percent said they were anxious.

Ten percent of the respondents, meanwhile, said they feel frustrated with online classes while 8 percent feel determined, one of the 2 positive emotions in the survey.

Seven percent of the participants were feeling disappointed with online learning, 6 percent feel sad, while 5 percent expressed happiness, the only other positive emotion, based on the survey.

Bro. Clifford Sorita, head of the Veritas Truth Society, said students feel frustrated and anxious mainly because of an overwhelming increase in academic workload and unstable internet connectivity that hampers their participation in online classes.

“Ang comment ng marami sa respondents, medyo dumagsa iyong dami, volume ng trabaho (The comment of many respondents is the volume of work increased),” Sorita said in an interview.

Students also lost peer support while others find it difficult to learn their lessons by themselves, said Sorita, who is also a sociologist and a professor.

“When you are in school, you have at least your classmates, friends, and of course, the teachers are trained to really help you with the learning process,” he explained.

“With online, it's somewhat self-learning that we're trying to do. Though some parents are there, there are also limitations to what parents can assist their children with, especially with the higher [grade] level lessons,” he added.

Public school students are also burdened with the additional expenses incurred in online learning, Sorita said.

“If you go online, they (respondents) say, if you use your video cam, it consumes your data and [is] therefore more expensive for them,” he said.

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Sorita said the survey results are a cause of concern since “learning cannot be fully efficient” if students feel exhausted.

“Learning is supposed to be fun. We learn well if there's a level of excitement, fun and a level of enthusiasm,” he said.

Elementary school students happier

The survey also showed that happiness was the top emotion felt by elementary school students in online classes, chosen by 35 percent of the respondents. This was followed by exhaustion at 25 percent and disappointment at 20 percent.

Exhaustion was the leading emotion among high school students at 49 percent while it was anxiety among college students at 51 percent, according to the survey.

“It’s because lessons are more difficult as the year level goes up,” Sorita explained.

The survey, which used a stratified sample of 1,200 respondents nationwide with a +/- 3-percent margin of error, was conducted from June 20 to July 10.

The information was gathered through text-based and online data gathering.

In late October, the Department of Education urged schools to lessen the burden that students and teachers experience with distance learning, which was implemented after government banned in-person classes due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The DepEd, through a memorandum, allowed schools to declare some activities in self-learning modules as optional, and adjusted the dates of the grading periods to help students and teachers cope with distance learning.

Commission on Higher Education Chairman Prospero de Vera has also appealed to teachers to lessen the workload of students.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier allowed in-person classes to resume by January 2021, assuming that a vaccine against COVID-19 would be available by then.