Rona D. Robles, Teacher III, Vega Elementary School
Since the start of limited and then later progressive face-to-face classes during the 4th
quarter of school year 2021-2022, the educational field has been alarmed by the numerous
evidence of learning losses and learning gaps brought about by the close to two-year shut
down of educational institutions because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Because of these learning losses and gaps, recovery strategies and plans have been
crafted in order to bridge gaps and recoup losses.
As regards these losses, can we imagine how far behind our learners are in
mathematics and numeracy?
According to Sawchuk and Sparks (2020) in their article, “Kids Are Behind in Math
Because of COVID-19,” mentioned what research says could help educators and home
learning facilitators address the problem and earning losses could be half or up to a full year
less in math during the school closures as compared to a typical school year.
McCormick (2020), stated that no difference was found in reading gains, but about 5-
10 percentile point difference in math, with the elementary levels incurring the worst learning
As DepEd schools have started the full implementation of in-person learning this
school year 2022-2023, the first few weeks of the regular face-to-face classes have provided
crystal-clear evidence, especially in reading and numeracy.
In a typical grade 3 class, students may still be unable to recite numbers from 1 to 10.
Some still cannot write numbers correctly, and quite a number of learners write numbers
upside-down or on the reverse. These skills should have been learned in grade 1 (or even in
kindergarten) and should have been mastered before going to grade 2. But since schooling for
the past two years has been under modular and distance learning modality, such skills were
not fully learned or mastered.
It can be observed that there are so many intermediate graders who are still struggling
even in simple one-digit to one-digit addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division – how
are intermediate teachers supposed to start with multiple digits using the four fundamental
operations and other problem-solving lessons if these learners do not even know the basic
Of course, such a dilemma cannot be blamed on anyone, as the situation back then
really called for home learning due to the threats and scares of the coronavirus, and this is
what we all have to remedy upon the onset of in-person classes.
To say that we have skills to recover for mathematics and numeracy can be an
understatement – we actually have a lot to recover – and where we should start can really add
so much weight to the heavy load we are now carrying in the teaching and learning process.
Mathematics is a skill-based subject. It is not like others where you only need to
memorize, and then you are fine. Math is a skill that has to be developed and mastered over
We need to start from the basic as all other skills are connected and intertwined – the
basic skill needs to have the strongest foundation so the building-upon-skills can be easier,
more practical and more meaningful. If we fail to have the learners master the basics,
teaching them higher-grade level math can be a mountain peak to climb