We speak with our teachers, Aina Qaisara from UEC Malaysia, and Imeilyn Macaraig Faltado from UEC Philippines on how they coped with the pandemic. Read on to find out more!
Please introduce yourself and your franchise!
UEC Malaysia, Teacher Aina: Hey there, I am Teacher Aina, the coordinator and teacher for UEC Vista Alam!
UEC Philippines, Teacher Imeilyn: Hello, I am Teacher Imeilyn, teacher for UEC Batangas.
When the pandemic began and your country went into lockdown, what were your initial reactions, and how did it affect your franchise?
UEC Malaysia, Teacher Aina: When the pandemic hit, before Malaysia entered lockdown, we were anxiously keeping in touch with the news and thinking about how it this bad news would affect us and our students. But worrying would never solve problems, so instead we dedicated our efforts to adapting and planning for the future.
UEC Philippines, Teacher Imeilyn: This pandemic brought fears and uncertainty to us especially to our center. There is no guarantee that we will have students for this year.
How did your franchise adapt to the situation? What went well, what did not?
UEC Malaysia, Teacher Aina: We decided, as our first step, to educate our teachers, parents and students to be responsible for themselves by taking precautions and keeping hygienic. We created a poster of precaution to post around our center and share with our students. In accordance with the government’s regulations, our students and teachers were soon required to wear masks in our classroom. It was a hassle at first, but we took faith in our belief to never stop learning, and everyone complied without complaints. But it did not last, as the MCO had to arrive. We were prepared for that and transitioned smoothly into online classes. Many students were not convinced, so we had to create extra content and innovate fun activities that would be applicable in the new learning environment to prove that we can still maintain the quality of our work.
UEC Philippines, Teacher Imeilyn: With faith in God and perseverance we tried to outsource all our skills and necessary ingredients to help our center to survive. There is no room for disappointment. We need to act to get through with this situation. We exerted effort in online learning. We did research and plan on how to come up with our UEC classes. We adapt our lessons to the needs and situation of our students in terms of their capabilities to do online classes.
Can you share some positive experiences for UEC that arose from this pandemic?
UEC Philippines, Teacher Imeilyn: We were happy somehow to know that kids were having fun and enjoying their sessions although along the way there were unexpected challenges like typhoon which affected our internet connection.
UEC Malaysia, Teacher Aina: Resilience and adaptability, teachers took the challenge to not only make online classes work but make them interesting as well. For our children, their decision to stick with us through these hard times and still participate to the best of their abilities during online sessions make us more than willing to go one step further in preparing for the online classes.
What were your biggest takeaway from this entire situation? Please elaborate!
UEC Malaysia, Teacher Aina: My biggest takeaway from this pandemic is that no matter what problems may arise, we can get through the hurdles if we do not lose sight of our principles and focus.
What do you miss the most about UEC pre-pandemic?
UEC Malaysia, Teacher Aina: We miss the classroom setting the most out of all, especially being able to interact with our students and do fun activities in the classroom.
What should we expect to see for UEC moving forward into 2021?
UEC Philippines, Teacher Imeilyn: I may say at this moment we are still in the process of improvement, but we are surviving, and we are ready to face whatever it takes to achieve the best for our students.
UEC Malaysia, Teacher Aina: For UEC Malaysia, we are planning explore new opportunities online. Such as more tools that could engage students at home, such as online activities and games. New syllabus that can cater to online classes may also be a thing, so that we can reach even more students and are not limited by geography.