Catch-up learning: Bridging educational gaps for academic success

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by Ezel B. Mangay-at, Lucban Elementary School

“Never again do we want to experience our whole world being shrunk into a single house.“

 

Catch-up learning has evolved as an essential component in the field of education. Its purpose is to address the academic gaps that learners may have for a variety of reasons, including disruptions to their learning, personal issues, or educational disparities they may have experienced. This phrase refers to the focused interventions and tactics that are aimed to assist learners in catching up on missed learning opportunities. The goal is to ensure that learners have the information and skills necessary to be successful in their academic endeavors. It has been underlined by both the Vice President and the Secretary of the Department of Education (DepEd), Sarah Duterte, that Catch-up learning will begin in all public schools on January 12, 2024, with a special emphasis on improving learners’ reading and numeracy skills.
It should be recognized that education is an ongoing process, and any disruption in the learning process might cause children to lag behind their peers. A second opportunity for learners to gain the knowledge and skills that are necessary for their future success is provided by Catch-up learning, which plays an important part in preventing these gaps from growing wider. Catch-up learning has become increasingly important in minimizing the negative consequences of global disruptions, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, which has had a substantial influence on educational systems all around the world, as stated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
One of the most important advantages of Catch-up learning, according to Johnson (2022), is that it can promote inclusiveness in the educational system. Learners who may have had difficulty in typical classroom settings can benefit from individualized learning plans that address their unique areas of weakness. These programs can be tailored to meet the needs of the learner. Through the use of this tailored strategy, teacherscan concentrate on the specific requirements of each learner, thereby assisting them in overcoming challenges and bridging the educational gap.
In addition to one-on-one tutoring and after-school programs, as well as online resources and adaptive learning technology, there are many different ways that learners can catch up on their education. The Department of Education asserts that summer schools and targeted intervention programs during the normal school year are useful approaches to provide additional support for children who are having difficulty, thereby assisting them in catching up on concepts that they may have missed. The idea is to carry out the Catch-up learning every Friday of the week, taking into consideration this context.
Lucban Elementary School supports and conducts also Catch-Up Friday where teachers stratagems for how they do reading remedies for the learners so that these learners will be able to read and comprehend. Another remarkable move that Lucban initiated through the Learning Resource Coordinator is their partnership with the Baguio City Public Library. The Scarcity of reading materials laid the initiative to partner with the BCPL to which the latter had positively responded. Librarians from the Baguio City Library through the Leadership of Maam Easter W. Pablo also conduct the reading every Friday from 2 o’clock until 3:20 in the afternoon and they also bring with them reading materials from Baguio City Library for learners to read.
Taking this into consideration, the Division of Baguio also came up with a strategy to conduct the Catch-up Friday where every learning area was still considered with values taken into the list too. Catch-Up Friday activities involve Reading Enhancement and Reading intervention,activities for intervention starts with pre-reading,during reading and post-reading activities were given prominence.
The scope of Catch-up learning has also been significantly expanded because to the crucial role that technology has played. Learners can access interactive lectures, quizzes, and exercises through online platforms and educational apps, which they can do on their own time (Smith, 2020). The use of these technologies not only makes new materials available but also makes it possible to conduct continuous assessments, which enables teachers to keep track of learners’ development and modify their interventions accordingly.
The positive influence that Catch-up learning has on academic success is visible in enhanced learner performance, increased confidence, and a revitalized love for learning (Doe, 2021). This is supported by a small piece of research. By filling up the gaps in their basic knowledge, learners are better prepared to tackle more difficult concepts, which in turn fosters a sense of mastery and achievement in them.
Additionally, learners’ overall well-being is improved as a result of their participation in catch-up learning. Learners’ mental and emotional well-being is positively impacted when they notice that they are making progress in their academic journey and when they feel that they are supported. Consequently, this results in the creation of an environment that is conducive to learning, one in which learners are more engaged, motivated, and resilient in the face of potential problems.
Because of this, Catch-up learning is an essential tool in the educational environment. It provides a savior to learners who may have experienced failures along the way of their educational path. Catch-up learning ensures that no learner falls behind by catering to their specific requirements and delivering interventions that are specifically tailored to their needs. As we continue to negotiate the intricacies of education, giving priority to Catch-up learning will contribute to an educational system that is more accessible and equitable. This will help to cultivate a generation oflearners who are prepared to flourish in the constantly shifting global scene. The recent orders issued by the Vice President and the Secretary of the Department of Education, in conjunction with the recognition of its relevance by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), show a global commitment to prioritizing Catch-up learning and further underscore its significance in the recent educational landscape. **


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