Headshot Young Girl

Lea Abarentos

VIA21

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Challenge

Inclusive Learning during the Pandemic.

With the school closures, providing inclusive learning to persons with disabilities is a challenge, especially in a third-world country like the Philippines. In BDS or Benilde Deaf School)of the DLS-College of Saint Benilde, most students are scholars, and they belong to lower-class families. Their access to reliable internet connections and devices is limited. Printed modules are also regularly sent if they cannot access the Google Classroom to provide continuity. The Coding Club of the Benilde Deaf School which we established in 2018, which aims to enhance our students’ critical thinking skills and inspire them to become IT leaders and coders someday, has to be stopped. Sadly, it is no longer a priority considering the issue of digital inclusion, such as connectivity and lack of devices of our students.

Coding is one of the essential skills of the future that has to be taught to ALL students. Of course, we all want our students to dream big and realize their potential, and they should be trained at an early age to enhance their critical thinking and creativity to prepare them for the jobs of the future. Our differently-abled students should also be given the same opportunity to learn how to code even during challenging times.

The challenge is how to continue our efforts to offer coding classes and creative learning opportunities to our differently-abled students despite the many challenges of the pandemic.

MY CHALLENGE: "How might we sustain the empowerment of our differently-abled students to become enablers, future programmers, and IT leaders someday using Google programs and solutions?"