By: Joel D. Capistrano, Master Teacher I
Balian Integrated National High School
Pangil Sub Office, SDO Laguna
Education has taken one of the biggest impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Teachers, learners, parents, and all stakeholders of education have experienced several obstacles posed by the COVID-19 pandemic which has left tremendous issues economically, socially, and politically around the globe. More than merely a health catastrophe, it has led to an educational crisis. According to UNESCO Learning Portal, (2020), amid lockdowns and quarantines, 87% of the world’s school population was affected and 1.52 billion learners were away from school and related educational institutions. The unpredictable nature, uncertainty, and volatility of COVID-19 left the education sector in a rush of acknowledging the evolving landscape.
With this, the teaching and learning process has never been the same. Still having the same aim of imparting knowledge, skills, and values to our students, our way of teaching has never been the same. Like all teachers of other subjects, we MAPEH teachers — Music, Arts, Physical Education, and Health — are collaborating to reevaluate our teaching strategies and classroom environment to be able to deliver quality education despite the situation we are in right now.
This subject tackles varied topics that help students quickly discover and understand things about what they could get if they will boost their potential in MAPEH activities like becoming an artist or an athlete. This has tremendous importance in our everyday life and how our learners may plan for their future careers. At the very basic level, music and arts can provide an avenue for relaxation. The value of keeping the body active and moving is something that is taught by physical education and health.
Through collaboration and updating of our techniques and strategies so that we can adapt to the new normal, we as educators would still apply our different types of methods in teaching and learning. By using the proven and tested lecture and demonstration method, our students in the new normal would be able to learn better. We have to start again from the basics as these are what was lost during the remote learning of our students. They might know the theory or the idea, but they need the guidance of their teachers to demonstrate properly a skill.
MAPEH is one of the most interesting and engaging subjects in school. Teaching this in the new normal entails a lot of work as we are still not yet free from COVID. It asks students to move and explore which is one of the things that we must not do nowadays. Social distancing is still the key to being free from COVID-19. According to recent research, regular exercise helps enhance children’s and teenagers’ cardiorespiratory fitness, strengthen their bones and muscles, manage their weight, lessen their feelings of anxiety and sadness, and lower their risk of contracting diseases like heart disease.
Nevertheless, we are still faced with the same old problems in the new normal. Some of the problems identified are still insufficient instructional materials; congested classrooms; and insufficient space for students to conduct their physical activities. Even so, it is important to note that teaching MAPEH in the old or new normal tends to improve listening skills, and enhances language development and verbal skills. From counting steps in their dance presentation, or exhibiting listening skills when faced with game instructions, MAPEH helps students to become more disciplined and gives health benefits such as stress reduction and better sleep.
Coping with the aftermath of COVID-19 in the education sector demands teachers, along with the support of the stakeholders, to become more innovative than ever. Teaching MAPEH in the new normal may still encounter difficulties but it must be pursued and delivered as this subject validates the self-esteem and confidence of our learners who don’t have the tools to express themselves in other subjects. Here, our learners can explore and exhibit a range of actions and outlets like music or arts, in a non-threatening way. Through this, a learner’s accomplishment in MAPEH provides that sense of accomplishment that they may carry through to more.
Having a sound body along with a sound mind. Our learners are now back inside the classrooms and they are allowed to explore all the possibilities of life through their hidden talents and skills – may it be in music, arts, physical education, or health – which would propel them forward through in their lives. Let us teach MAPEH in a way that can cope with our learners who are now thriving in the new normal.