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Situations of Indigenous Learners in Learning the Lessons and Its Effects to their Academic Performance

Education has been especially hard hit by billions of out-of-school learners, and most of the country's school closures have impacted almost 90% of the world's total enrolled learners as a result of the major disruption of access to education caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This is the image of the world's education system as the immediate adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the Philippines, the Department of Education (DepEd) looks at the positive side of it and ensures that education continues amidst the country's health. But according to President Duterte, face-to-face learning is prohibited until such time as there is already a vaccine for COVID-19. So, DepEd come-up with distance learning delivery methods that ensure the safety of learners when they are studying. Surveys are performed to evaluate the preferred learning strategies for parents to provide to their children. Many parents choose a modular distance learning solution because they cannot afford to provide internet access for their children's online learning.

DepEd immediately prepares the modules for the learners. They also referred to the skills of the teacher-writers who are in charge of planning the contents of the modules. DepEd also allocates extra funds for the printing of modules. The support and assistance of the Local Government Units (LGUs) is required in order to increase the needs of the school in the printing of modules. As an immediate response, the majority of municipalities allocate funds for the materials and equipment needed to print the modules.

School administrators ensure that the school is able to open classes at the time of COVID-19. They buy COVID-19 response products to ensure that they are protected from COVID-19 transmission. Likewise, the entire school grounds are sanitized. Most of their time is spent in their preparation for the delivery and retrieval of modules. They set up a structure to follow from the gate until the parents have already obtained the modules for their children. The framework is consistent with the COVID-19 health and safety protocols in line with the most recent statements of the local Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF).

Parents and learners are both equipped with a modular distance learning orientation. Parents are told of their vital role in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic, as they are supposed to play the role of their own children's teachers. In the same way, learners are told that their education is taking place at home. This is the approach to ensure the protection and security of learners at the time of COVID-19. Modules are also given as their key learning materials for their weekly lessons.

Learning crises are often in place before the start of school. The most affected learners belong to the Indigenous Peoples Community because of the following reasons: (1) they have trouble transporting copies of the learning modules, (2) they do not have enough school supplies and facilities for the learners, (3) their parents do not understand the content of the module because of a low level of educational attainment, and (4) their parents should not have the capacity and desire to teach their own children. These are the challenges that school leaders are looking at in order to help indigenous learners deal with the current normal education environment.

In view of the learning crisis that they are facing in the introduction of the new normal education system, schools cannot escape seeing a group of indigenous people returning modules and other learning materials to school because they do not understand the content and cannot teach these materials to their children. What they want to do is get someone in charge of providing the need information of the lesson. They want other people to take their place as learning facilitators for their children.

The academic performance of indigenous learners is also affected by the country's health situation. Under the prevailing situation, the priority of parents is not about grades, but their children to learn from their lessons. Grades are considered worthless if the learners do not understand the lessons. Teachers and parents are now working closely to resolve the learning crises of indigenous learners. They are more focused on how to help these indigenous learners learn lessons for the week. This is a clear sign that the better performance of these indigenous learners is at stake.

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