Change in Students’ Welfare during the COVID-19 Pandemic and the Shift to Remote Learning: The Case of BA in Business Economics Students at a State University Unit in Pampanga
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The COVID-19 pandemic has forced schools in the Philippines and abroad to shift to remote learning even without ample preparation. This unwanted scenario begged two questions. Firstly, has the welfare of students changed for the worse due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the shift to remote learning? And secondly, is the shift to remote or flexible learning as ordered by the state university and the CHED sound? To address these questions, the study determined whether the consumer surplus as a welfare indicator of 25 Business Economics students at a state university unit in Pampanga has significantly changed during the COVID-19 pandemic and the shift to remote learning. The students were chosen through purposive sampling. They belong to a block that has experienced a semester each of face-to-face and remote classes under the same professor in academic years 2019-2020 and 2020-2021. The quantitative and qualitative data needed for the study were obtained through an online survey. The result of the paired samples t-test showed that the mean difference of Php 8,380.00 between the students’ consumer surplus during the pre-COVID-19 pandemic face-to-face modality and their consumer surplus during the COVID-19 pandemic and the shift to remote learning was not significant, with a standard deviation of 20,964.39442, confidence interval of 95%, t (24) = 1.999, and p = 0.057. This result suggests that: (1) the welfare of the 25 BA in Business Economics students, as indicated by their consumer surplus, has not significantly changed when the learning modality has shifted from face-to-face to remote during the COVID-19 pandemic; and (2) the shift to remote or flexible learning as ordered by the state university’s Memorandum No. OVPAA 2020-31 dated 09 March 2020 and the CHED Memorandum Order No. 4 Series of 2020 was sound.