There have been many webinars recently. We can find many fliers or posters on social media concerning seminars and conferences. The webinars can be local, regional, and even international. Mostly and very often the theme is related to Covid-19 and the impacts on education— besides economic downfall. This article is based on one of the recommendation during the ASEAN International conference on Tuesday, June 20, 2020.
In the webinar, held recently on the ASEAN scale, I was also one of the plenary speakers. It was on June 20, 2020, held by the Community of ASEAN researchers and educators (CARE) led by the President, Dr. Randy Tudy, from Cor Jesu College, the Philippines. In this community, I am one of the Boards’ members. This ASEAN community is new for it was established just a month ago. But, it has started its first webinar on the international conference level.
The first speaker was me, Indonesia, the second, Prof. Dr. Rogelio P. Bayod, Philippines, the third, Dr. Suma Parahakaran, Malaysia, the fourth, Dr. Randy Tudy, Philippines, and the fifth, Associate Professor Dr. Rozima Jamaludin, Malaysia. The topic was related to education for the post-COVID 19. I would rather be interested in the term blended system. This term was introduced by my co-speaker, Dr. Rozima Jamaludin, Malaysia. We discussed it on that event, while I was questioning her, about what system is suitable for the post-COVID 19, in education, she said blended system.
Of course, I was mazed with that term. In my perception, the term blended means many things. It is not merely related to the blended system of conducting both online teaching and the conventional one. It means more than that.
A blended system, firstly it can be both the materials and methods of teaching and strategies of learning. All these must be directed towards making the pupils or students creative. If we are unable to produce the output of education for being creative. We cannot make our education system successful. We will become the losers. In economic bargaining, the best quality of human resources is those who are creative. Otherwise, our businesses will go bankrupt.
It is a fact that education is the central point for nations to be competitive. For that reason, educating the people for surviving is key. It is the key to any success. We wonder whether all schools and universities educate the people for that purpose. Creating new products or services is key. In other words, education must make the nation creative.
It is obvious that the blended system is important. It means creating new methods of teaching. It can also mean the strategies of learning for the pupils and students. However, it also means how to make the nation creative. They must be able to create new products or services.
All the blended systems of course can lead to efficiency. When schools or universities have online classes, they will not consume electricity. They won’t consume water in schools or campuses. They won’t consume transportation from home to school or campuses. They won’t’ consume time for they have to stay at home.
When schools and universities can make the nation creative, the nation will be able to survive. People can create something new. They can be new services or new products. A New normal era is different from the normal era as we have experienced before COVID-19.
Unfortunately, when the nations are not creative, they will be the losers. They cannot survive. They cannot make money. People are now easily accessible. They can be accessible to any free products and services. We can get access to lots of books to download for free. We can also get access to get the training of several skills for free. All of these will make us lose. This is for very specifically the service providers.
An anecdote is related to my own experience of writing a book. It is a lesson learned. I have just published a book recently. It was published during the COVID-19. Today, there are many books like what I have written just now. And, they are easily downloaded for free. This is one of the examples of the new normal era. Everything is free on the internet. If we are not creative to produce something different we will not be able to survive.
It is therefore, we need a blended system for the post-COVID-19. It can be the system of teaching and learning process that is done online. It can also be done in schools or campuses. However, it is imperative that schools and universities use a blended system for creating new methods and strategies in education. They should be able to make their pupils or students more creative and innovative. (*)