The pandemic has brought about a lot of disorders and changes in our lives. Education for one has been disrupted in the last quarter of 2019-2020’s school year. Now, children are being ushered into the new normal of online learning and parents alike are in for a huge change.
What’s great is that schools stepped up and held and are still holding webinars or online seminars for parents to aid us into the new normal of learning. Our children need their parents’ help and guidance because this is something new for most of us.
Mapúa University, the Philippines’ premier engineering and technological university, recently held a webinar for mommy bloggers. It was very informative and helpful to a parent like me, so we can adjust or adapt to the new ways of learning.
The webinar entitled, “Nourishing Your Teenager’s Well-Being in the New Normal of Learning,” discussed topics ranging from assessing Filipino students’ readiness for online learning, mental and emotional challenges during online learning, nourishing the students’ well-being to adapt to the new normal of learning, as well as Mapúa’s Center for Guidance and Counseling (CGC) programs in enhancing the well-being of students.
The University invited four speakers from its academe to help the parents play a bigger and better role during their children’s online learning journey.
Dr. Edward Jay M. Quinto, an associate professor at the Mapúa’s School of Social Sciences and Education, talked about self-regulation and self-regulated learning, and how these are connected to students’ behavior and performance in online education.
He explained that self-regulated learning is multicomponent and that these components include goal setting, environmental structuring, time management, task strategies, help-seeking, and self-evaluation.
“As we usher students in online learning, they bring with them varying levels of readiness, but we ensure that no one is left behind,” Quinto said.
Dr. Jonathan V. Macayan, the dean of the School of Social Sciences and Education, shared the results of a compassion survey conducted among students, assessing the impact of the pandemic on students’ mental and emotional state and provided insights on intervention techniques that can be used both by parents and educators in their engagement with young individuals.
He pointed out that the responsibilities of the school in addressing the mental and emotional well-being of students include the design and implementation of academic and school policies that are sensitive to and supportive of the mental health and well-being of students, the development of a school–parent collaboration system that will aim to monitor and ensure students’ well-being in online learning, as well as the development and implementation of necessary student support services.
“It’s more than just simply a strategy; it has to be genuine. Your intention to humanize your interventions with students must be genuine,” Macayan said.
The third speaker is the University’s program chair for Behavioral and Human Science, Prof. Jasmine Nadja J. Pinugu, who points out that fostering resilience is critical to a teenager’s well-being during difficult times.
She said that the key to nourishing students’ well-being is by fostering resilience, and one can do this by maintaining a positive self-regard for themselves, teaching them life skills such as positive coping and problem-solving skills, enabling them to have a sense of purpose and agency, maintaining positive social connections, as well as emotional regulation.
“At this time of pandemic, there should be stronger collaboration between the students, parents, and the teachers,” Pinugu said.
Arlene V. Clarete-Macatuggal, Mapúa’s director for student advising and counseling, shared how the University has been responding to the needs of its students while learning in an online environment.
She explained that Mapúa CGC offers various services for its students to help them cope with the new normal. These services include counseling, coordinating, appraising, and consulting services.
“We just don’t wait for students to come to us, but we schedule them for counseling through Blackboard or [Facebook Messenger] to help them with their needs,” Macatuggal said.
An open and lively discussion was held for the mommy bloggers in attendance after each topic, wherein their burning questions and concerns were readily addressed by the four speakers. Through the webinar, Mapúa University aims to best equip parents with the tools needed to help their children have a productive, engaging, and safe learning experience remotely. It is imperative that parents, students, and the academe work together to provide a seamless academic experience for children via the online learning journey.