Indigenous Ayta college students as distance learners during the Covid-19 pandemic: A qualitative study from the Philippines

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Authors: Arlan E. dela Cruz, Cliff Ransom Wendell Lilangan, Kimberly Lintag & Mikel Ryan Lorenzo

To cite this article: dela Cruz, A. E., Lilangan, C. R. W., Lintag, K. & Lorenzo, M. R. (2024) Indigenous Ayta college students as distance learners during the Covid-19 pandemic: a qualitative study from the Philippines, Youth Voice Journal, ISSN (online): 2056-2969

Categories: Paper, Youth Voice Journal



Purpose: This study primarily aimed to explore the schooling experiences of indigenous Ayta students in the Philippines situated within the context of a forced distance learning modality brought by the Covid-19 pandemic using a grounded theory approach.

Design/methodology/approach: Semi-structured interviews were conducted to 20 Ayta college students, ten males and ten females aged between 18-25, using Strauss and Corbin’s grounded theory approach. Data were analyzed according to Strauss and Corbin’s open, axial, and selective coding procedures.

Findings: Living mostly in remote, mountainous terrain in the province of Pampanga, Philippines, the lack of previous experience with this learning setup made adjusting challenging for the participants. When faced with the difficulties of distance learning, the participants executed different strategies to adapt and resist.

Practical/social implications: Government and nongovernment agencies should ensure that all Ayta students have free access to resources like computer gadgets and stable internet connectivity for distance learning. It is essential too that teachers are given the appropriate training and support to effectively teach in a distance learning environment. Tertiary level schools should provide flexible learning options, cultural resources, and support services for indigenous students. The findings of this study can be expanded and verified using quantitative research techniques with a larger data sample.

Originality/value: This paper underscores the vulnerability of students like the indigenous communities in the Philippines to the rapid shifts in educational delivery brought by Covid-19 pandemic.

Keywords: Ayta college students, grounded theory, distance learning, Covid-19, online learning

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