By Jane B. Fernandez, Teacher III, Mapalad Sur ES
Even before the disruption of classes due to Covid-19, there are learners who
are left behind in their pursuit of learning. Teachers are already aware of this, having
studied and exposed to learners’ differences and backgrounds, not to mention that there
are children who are from marginalized families.
One of the crises that educators identified after the pandemic and when schools
reopen is the basic reading and counting/solving skills, the learning These learners must
be given attention and treated with preventive measures, so to get rid of other
consequences to the children such as having low self- esteem and poor communicative
skills. There are even cases that experiencing difficulties in reading, writing and
arithmetic, learners grow with lack of confidence and become aloof. Learning gap as
understood is the difference of the learners to the learning expected of them and the
learning they actually get at a certain point they are diagnosed. For instance, a grade
five learner is expected to have mastered the basic operations like simple addition,
subtraction, multiplication and division, but when assessed, the learner does not have
the numeracy skills expected of him. In reading, a learner in the intermediate level must
have the ability to comprehend and note details of a short selection read, but when
evaluated, the learner was found struggling on reading and could not even pronounce
the words correctly.
Factors contributing to the gaps vary, from the instructional support to the
learning environment and even the learner himself can be the cause of his achievement
gap. Whatever may be the cause, the teacher is mainly responsible to address the
problem of children with learning gaps in her class. The means to solve the issue are
endless, the only thing that should be kept in mind is to never give up. According to the
components of initiatives to address the learning gaps (Home, 2022) emerge the three
policies that will help teachers and learners acquire learning achievement suited to their
grade levels. These include first, personalized learning intervention. A teacher should
always remember that no two learners are identical in needs. A personal approach to
learning is responding to learner experiencing difficulty based on his individual
preference, whether he likes auditory or visual interventions. Some learners preferred
to be treated in groups while some like one-on-one sort of tutoring. Learning preference
must be also be considered when addressing a gap using a personalized intervention.
The second means that teachers can adopt is conducting specialized instruction and
additional time to give the particular need of the learner. This is the reason behind the
teachers’ attendance to specialized training, for one cannot give what he does not have.
A teacher must be equipped with knowledge and skills to address the needs of her
learners which also entails a teacher to be flexible and versatile in teaching strategies.
The last but not the least way to implement is to provide additional learning resources
fit to the learners’ needs. The school provides the learning resources in all grade levels
like textbooks, manuals while teacher is really acquiring supplementary materials for
every subject she teaches, but in the case of addressing a learning gap, a teacher must
be resourceful and productive enough to support the intervention materials the left-
behind learner needs, be a print or digital material, also real objects and other materials
that will provide the opportunity to achieve learning desired.