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A Glimpse of Teacher's Capability for Distance Learning During the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Case of the University of the Philippines School of Urban and Regional Planning

The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) marks the year 2020 with one of the biggest public health crises of all time. Caused by the SARS-CoV-2, it has continuously crossed intercontinental borders frighteningly, infecting millions of people worldwide. Its negative impacts resulted in crippling economic losses that broadened inequalities among humans, significant loss of human lives, and major shifts in human well-being, habits, and lifestyles.

As the Philippines struggled with the rising number of COVID-19 cases, the government hastily announced a "community quarantine" in its national capital. Later, it placed the whole island of Luzon under lockdown. The sudden freeze in the academic semester caused a major disruption among the university constituents: the faculty members in the country's premier graduate school for environmental planning, the University of the Philippines School of Urban and Regional Planning. A study on the faculty and lecturer's capability for distance learning was conducted to understand how to navigate the remaining academic term while adhering to safety and health protocols. The study looked into various concerns on distance learning capability in terms of access to virtual learning tools, technology, and technology-mediated skills and the multiple roles and expectations that the faculty play in the home and work environment. Drawing from the survey and subsequent discussions, the fragility of the state of work-life-study balance is examined to better support the shift towards remote learning. 


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