‘Post-pandemic’ will disrupt higher education – education specialists – Manila Bulletin


The next normal or post-pandemic will have a very “disruptive” world, especially for higher education, according to education specialists.

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“It will be a very disruptive world. It’s a technologically disruptive future because of the fourth industrial revolution [or the trend towards automation in manufacturing technologies and processes which include artificial intelligence and Internet of things]global warming and climate change, zoonoses and the pandemic,” said Cynthia Bautista, Vice President of Academic Affairs, University of the Philippines (UP), during the #PilipiLUNAS2022 virtual forum hosted by UP Diliman.

Bautista added that the global response to these global higher education challenges is for “sustainable development and lifelong learning.”

She also mentioned that the imperatives need to be addressed in the next normal to fully accomplish the paradigm shift from education to learning, develop lifelong learning pathways in higher education, implement implement and institutionalize the Philippine qualifications framework, and operationalize and articulate public-private education.

“The disruptive world also demands different skills and abilities from the graduates we will produce. We have to change the program can’t be the same as before,” Bautista said.

Dean of UP Visayas Tacloban College and UP Open University Professor Dr. Patricia Arinto suggested that higher education institutions should pay more attention to general education (GE) which serves as the foundation or foundation to the undergraduate program.

“Instead of the traditional mode of GE course delivery, I suggest, the virtual GE curriculum comprised entirely of GE [massive open online courses] which are short online courses in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and mathematics,” Arinto said.

Arinto noted that these short online courses can be in different formats such as lectures or workshops, and students can also choose courses in each track and they would be evaluated based on their automated exams, reflection papers, video projects or podcasts.

She also suggested giving students certificates of completion instead of grades.

“GE courses will develop essential skills that in today’s era should include not only critical thinking but also critical digital literacies and improve student engagement in GE through [a] greater course variety, shorter bursts, and digital pedagogies,” Arinto added.

Meanwhile, UP College of Education professor Dina Ocampo said gaps in program implementation in basic and higher education were “massive”.

“Research has shown that those who have access to technology and materials have had an advantage during this time and many children fall through the gap because they have so little or so limited access,” Ocampo noted. .

According to Ministry of Education data for the school year (SY) 2019-2020 to SY 2020-2021, enrollment in basic education fell from 27,008,605 enrollees to only 24,568,570 enrolments, respectively.

The Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges, meanwhile, had estimated that there were a total of 44,069 university students who were not enrolled in SY 2020-2021.

To ensure continuity from basic to higher education, Ocampo suggested recognizing and addressing pre-existing poverty and inequalities.

Access to libraries and multimedia materials in communities and schools must also be provided, she added, as well as to strengthen the infrastructure for access to the Internet, technology and digital tools.

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