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Feb 12, 2021

Distance Learning at Sacred Heart Junior College

Students across the country have been adjusting to distance learning for almost an entire year. Different schools adapt their methods based on what their school population can access. In the case of Sacred Heart College in the West, shifting to virtual classes has been a lot more manageable than most would expect. News Five’s Duane Moody has this report.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Hundreds of students are enrolled at the secondary and tertiary institutions, managed by Sacred Heart Incorporated. The highschool, alone, enrolls just over nine hundred. But even before a mandatory distance learning strategy was put in place by the government due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the institution had hybrid sessions. So transitioning to completely remote classes was smooth, but still not without its challenges. 


Rocio Smith-Carballo

Rocio Smith-Carballo, President, Sacred Heart Incorporated

“The high school had always been face-to-face and now moving to online teaching, it did entail a lot of investment in technology equipment in order for our teachers to be able to impart online classes. More than the equipment also was the training that had to come along with that. At the junior college, nevertheless, some of our teachers were already doing some online classes using moodle or canvass, depending on their preferred platform. However, most of the classes were hybrid.”


Sacred Heart did not discontinue its scholarship assistance programme, but had to reduce its contribution. Upwards of ninety percent of the student population is involved in virtual classes. The teachers have been trained to ensure that they remain engaged in the sessions. For students, the transition from the traditional way of learning was challenging at first, but they’ve been able to adapt. 


Casiana Lind

Casiana Lind, 2nd Year Student, Sacred Heart Junior College

“It’s more convenient in terms of just being able to log on to your class. However, I do believe other pros is that it is more cost effective in my case; you don’t need to go ahead and spend on transportation and you can basically do classes anywhere.”


Nayeli Corado

Nayeli Corado, 2nd Year Student, Sacred Heart Junior College

“At first it was kinda difficult, but I know when you go and trust in God, everything comes into path. So having online cases might be difficult, but we have to do our best and try to work with what is going on. So it is not that hard, we just have to work it out.”


But to assist the students with coping during these stressful times, counselling services are available around the clock. This helps with their mental health and addresses uncertainties that may arise from this new way of learning. 


Lupita Gillett

Lupita Gillett, Counsellor, Sacred Heart Junior College

“During the face-to-face, it was minor issues with relationship or with a lecture, with a study group, with a course, time management, some kinda stress. But during the pandemic, the cases changed completely to those, I call it daily life stressors, to suicide, depression, anxiety, sleep disorders. I’m guessing that the pandemic made everybody scared, everybody worried. Many of them have mastered the platform; the school made a consensus that we would be working with only two or three platform instead of everybody doing a different platform and so if they learn a platform for one course and two or three other lecturers are using it, it makes it easier.”


and as we found out from President Rocio Smith-Carballo, who is also the principal of the high school, the institution maintains a holistic approach to developing the student, even during these COVID times. 


Rocio Smith-Carballo

“We believe in developing the student holistically, which is intellectually, physically, emotionally, psychologically, and definitely spiritually as well. And so the school as well, the investment to reach out to our students and our teachers, the school invested in purchasing zoom for one thousand participants so that we would be able to reach out for daily masses, daily prayers for the entire faculty and staff.”


Duane Moody for News Five. 

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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