Being able return to school to carry out teaching and learning activities is a happy moment. The existence of policies from the regional government and seeing the decrease of Covid-19 patients have made it possible for some schools to run face-to-face learning. This was also done by Manado Independent School (MIS) which on Wednesday, 6 October 2021 started again the teaching and learning activities from school. Continuing to provide a full-fledged education is MIS' top priority for its students; this is proven by the implementation of the Flexible Learning System (FLS) practiced by MIS. FLS is a learning method where students can choose between two modes of learning either directly at school or studying from home (virtual); when students choose to attend lessons at school, the teachers only focus on those in the classroom, and for students who choose to attend classes through the virtual platform (Google Meet), the teachers also only focus on them. Each student is given a week to follow a grace period if students wish to change their choice; if students want to change their learning method then students are asked to fill the changes Learning Form Mode, and it should be noted that students can change their learning mode only once in a semester with the approval of the school administrator.
Aware of the spread of covid-19, the face-to-face learning at MIS always applies health protocols. All classrooms, labs, offices, and cafeterias are routinely sprayed with disinfectant; hand sanitizers and hand washing stations are installed in every school hallway, and before entering the campus, all students, teachers, and employees are required to wear masks and have their body temperature checked. Administrators and teachers always supervise all school residents to continue to comply with the 5 M protocols (wearing masks, washing hands, maintaining distance, avoiding crowds, and reducing mobility). The atmosphere in the classroom is maintained by having a maximum of 20 students each class with the seating arrangement of 1.5 meters away from the next seater; and there is no activity that involves physical contact. Each class is equipped with cameras, LCDs, and fast internet connection facilities; even MIS teachers each have notebooks, graphic tablets, and interesting teaching materials such as videos, PowerPoint, and interactive question and answer rooms so that teaching activities can run optimally.
Feelings of pleasure and joy enveloped the students who took part in Face-to-face Learning at school. Eldon Wongso, a grade 6 elementary school student, is very enthusiastic when the school reopened because he could meet friends and teachers. Eldon admitted that he had problems in on-line learning, such as internet network problems and understanding the subject matter. “Face-to-face learning is easier, because the way teachers teach is clear and understandable. Even when I take classes from school, I don't worry because MIS strictly implements health protocols, for example, all students must wear masks and keep their distance. The school administrators have managed everything in this school very well.”
A similar experience was also shared by a 7th grade student, Keishia Limmunandar, about the face-to-face class for the first time at MIS. “When in the classroom, the teachers explain in a slow voice to make it easier for students to understand the learning material, and if there is a class assignment, the teacher can immediately check it. I feel more productive when I take classes from school, even though for every movement we are restricted such as not being able to have group discussions or going somewhere in the school area because we have to stay away from crowd”.
Jessica Wullur, an 11th grade student of MIS who attended classes from school, is happy to be able to take part in the face-to-face learning activities. “Personally, I prefer offline classes, apart from making the lessons easier to understand, students can also ask questions and interact with the teacher directly, in online classes sometimes, there are network problems so that the interaction process is limited. The atmosphere in the class is more interesting where the teachers present material and explain very interactively. I am happy to be back in school again.”
The success of online
and offline learning that is carried out by MIS is of course because there is a
synergistic collaboration among the teachers, schools, parents, and students so
that it can run optimally and effectively. MIS hopes that the services provided
can continue to form students who are smart, caring, and have a strong
mentality so that they can continue to attend education even during the