52 min
By: ENC Leaders

Episode 6, Part 1: Changes in Education in the New Normal

Despite the changes in the landscape of education this coming school year, one thing is certain: learning goes on. How can we best prepare for any of the possible setups?

Play on:

In this episode, we invited Dr. Eva Arcena to share her insights and knowledge about the changes in the coming school year. Dr. Arcena is a respected educator and a fruitful disciple-maker in Victory Imus. Her views and opinions in this episode don’t necessarily reflect the view of Every Nation Campus.

In the second part of this episode, we will process together what we’ve learned in this interview.

5:30 What’s different with this school year?

  • Before the pandemic happened, we all came from the old norm, where we were used to a vibrant school environment. The possibility that this may not happen again is what we are preparing for this school year. This is what we call the new normal in the field of education.
  • When school starts in August, we are gearing towards different methods in teaching and learning, such as  online learning and distance learning.

8:05 What’s the landscape this school year?

  • Before we discuss on how students will learn this year, we have to understand the trifocal education system in the Philippines: 
  1. Department of Education (DepEd) – responsible for basic education (Kinder to Grade 12)
  2. Commission on Higher Education (CHED) – responsible for post-secondary or tertiary education
  3. Technical Education and Skills Development (TESDA) – responsible for technical and vocational education. 
  • Both DepEd and CHED are preparing to provide quality education in preparation for the new normal. 
  • Teachers and school administrators under DepEd and CHED are given the task to make sure that there is continuity of learning for students and to help them meet the minimum expected competencies. 
  • The minimum expected competencies cover the important things that the student should learn to finish the school year.

10:50 What is the position of the education system regarding the coming school year?

  • In light of the current issue, DepEd decided that they will go on, Secretary Leonor  Briones is firm that nothing can stop education–even war, calamity, and COVID19. Over a hundred years ago, humanity was also faced with a pandemic, yet education continued.
  • It was March 11, 2020 when it was declared that classes were put on hold because of the threat of the virus. Since then, students have not been able to continue the school year. Some schools declared mass promotion, while others continued to run the school year through distance and online learning. The observations and data that were gathered from this experience became the basis on how to run the coming school year. 

13:30 On subjects and courses

  • Subjects will not change, but the focus will be on basic education. Meaning, the content will be different from what was originally prescribed. Topics will be less per subject. Schools who normally offer extra subjects have the option to remove those for now. 

How about the TechVoc strand in Senior High School?  

  • Incoming Grade 12 under TechVoc strand will continue. But for the incoming Grade 11, they will be encouraged to apply to the General Academic Subjects (GAS) strand or other strands. 

17:07 What does learning look like this school year?

  1. Synchronous Learning
  • This is real time interaction between students and teachers. 
  • There will be a schedule to follow, but there will be limited hours of engagement, since it is not advisable for students to be online for more than four hours
  1. Asynchronous Learning
  • All the lessons, materials, and modules will be uploaded or available on the school’s Learning Management System (LMS).
  • These materials can be accessed by the students anytime, can be learned at their own pace, and can be taken within the comforts of their home. 
  1. Blended Learning
  • Combination of synchronous and asynchronous.
  • Blended learning will be implemented for those students who don’t have access to internet connection. 
  • This includes providing learning packets and printed modules to be delivered to the students or picked up from the school. 
  • Regardless of the selected method of learning, the students will be under the supervision of a teacher.
  • Teachers will be available under the given working hours to professionalize the approach.

22:57 On projects and assignments

  • Since knowledge is borderless, students will be provided with content that they should learn. There will still be projects and performance tasks. 
  • For performance-based tasks, teachers will capitalize on virtual learning, and will require easy-to-find materials at home which will be used for experiments and other activities

25:57 On quizzes and exams

  • The implementation of quizzes and exams will depend on the capability of the school.
  • Schools are preparing for this, some are purchasing an application where students will take randomized tests to preserve the integrity of the exam.
  • The challenge in implementing blended learning is that administrators and teachers have to be creative in implementing exams. 

29:40 Are we ready to take on this challenge?

  • This season has been tough for students and teachers. No one was prepared for this pandemic. Administrators and teachers tried their best to cope with ending the previous school year graciously. 
  • The last people who will be able to go back to regular programming would be the students. 

33:10  On school rules and uniforms

  • Even though the system is new, our approach is still professional. 
  • During synchronous meetings, students are required to wear their uniform, or any decent clothes, either white or a campus color. 
  • One this is sure, there will still be rules that will need to be followed

34:50 How are the teachers coping with these challenges?

  • The data that was gathered and their experiences became the learning process for teachers and administrators to prepare for the coming school year. 
  • Teachers and administrators were deeply affected by the sudden shift, but they are committed to developing modules to make sure that quality education is still offered to students.


  • This situation is a call for us to pray for our nation, the education system, and for the pandemic to end.
  • This is also a call for the students to level up their game in terms of their learning and character development.
  • Since knowledge is borderless, learning is not confined within the four corners of the classroom, we can learn a lot from our current situation.
  • As we disciple, we can cast the vision to students about this, and also involve the parents in the process. 

39:15 What about the discussion about academic freeze? 

  • One thing is certain in the mind of an educator: Education must go on, it cannot be stopped. Teachers losing their jobs is secondary. The primary reason is that we always go back to why education exists and that is because of the students
  • Many students will be affected if schools will not continue. We are coming from an idea that this is not the first time that the world has experienced a pandemic. When it happened in the past, education did not stop. 
  • This is an opportunity where we can witness a change, not just in the philosophy of education, but in the manner that it will be conducted, and in our mindset on how education should be delivered.
  • Since learning is not confined in the four corners of the classroom, learning is also borderless, and we are gearing to prepare for that norm. It will take some time to get back to the campus.
  • To address the claim that students have to go back to school, teachers and administrators are preparing their learning management systems. Education will go on. We will still deliver that commitment in different avenues that will ensure not only the health and protection of the students, but also their families.
  • This is the reality that we have right now: the times are changing, but we have to embrace it. 
  • Sometimes we think of the pandemic as similar to a drizzle or typhoon, but this is like neither. Our lifestyle will definitely change because of it.

43:07 How can we help our students, teachers, and administrators as campus missionaries this school year? 

  • One of the silver linings of this COVID19 pandemic is the significance of your roles as campus missionaries.
  • The primary role of the campus missionaries is to reach out to the students especially during this time. 
  • Students are looking for models that they can look up to despite the abrupt changes.  They are looking for someone who is stable. Campus missionaries are spiritual frontliners. To address the stability of emotions of the students is important. 
  • Campus missionaries must be one of the first ones to prepare the students for this new reality. The plates of the teachers are full in adjusting to this new norm. Be the first to embrace this new norm. Ask wisdom from God on how you will see this.
  • If we cannot embrace this new reality, it will be hard for us to move forward. We are the ones who will prepare the students to face the new normal. We can capitalize this opportunity while they are still on vacation. With this, campus missionaries should also educate themselves to prepare emotionally and spiritually for the change.
  • The best thing that we can do is to step up as spiritual frontliners, we must be in partnership with the education system and institution to provide the emotional and spiritual needs of the students. The vision to empower the students for leadership, integrity, faith, and excellence does not change. 

49:27 Additional suggestions from Dr. Eva Arcena

  • Create a virtual student center where students can hangout, ask questions, and take a break. We can also use this avenue to give tips about what they need to embrace in this new normal.
  • Aside from being spiritual leaders and mentors, campus missionaries can maximize social media to empower students to lead and also to help them with their studies.
  • We can help the parents assist their children in their learning, since parents have a great role to play in this new education system. Campus missionaries can also fill the gap of absentee parents.

Find the right resource for you