Chasing a signal under the blue sky
The start of the school year has been moved again to October 5 because the COVID-19 cases continue to rise. Under this circumstance, FPVI continues its own version of Distance Learning for the children in its care with the monthly assignments consisting of book reviews, grammar exercises, math and science lessons, with side projects in journal keeping and art. With regular follow-ups from FPVI and with the help of their mothers, this exercise is proving to be helpful not just for the children’s productivity and continued engagement but also as a dry-run for a similar learning format that the Philippine Department of Education is planning to adopt for those living in remote areas like our FPVI students.
The children have been coming to the FPVI Center only once a month to receive individual and group feedback on their assignments and briefing for the next set of work, and collect their care packages. Also, they present their respective art works to the group. The last assignment was a “self-portrait” but not necessarily physical depiction. Having enjoyed the collage project in July, the children’s August self-portraits were exercises in creative use of found materials. Here are two examples:
I am a jolly person and like singing and playing the guitar. The colors represent my personality and I like to help others color their lives with my colorful wings. ---- Gaby
I compare myself to a bamboo tree---it is strong and hard to break, withstanding typhoons, storms, flooding. In my life, I try to be strong and resilient when I encounter problems. --- Hannah
The four college students who were under the FPVI program in their senior high school have their classes online under the misplaced assumption by the schools they are attending that all students have access to both technology devices and good internet connectivity. They don’t, and so in the absence of internet access where they live, they go out to the open fields where they get a signal using their precious and limited mobile data sometimes on borrowed phones. There they do the downloading of lessons. When quarantine regulations are eased and they are allowed to enter the town proper, they do their online lessons, quizzes and assessments at FPVI Center where the internet connection is more reliable than the rice field wifi.
Downloading class materials in the rice field