Manila Bulletin

DepEd to find ways to ‘gradually shift’ from printed to digital learning


Recognizin­g that printed modular learning may not be sustainabl­e in the long run, the Department of Education (DepEd) continues to explore other learning delivery modalities to ensure that education of Filipino students will continue.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones, in this week’s “Handang Isip, Handa Bukas” virtual press briefing explained that DepEd is exploring different possibilit­ies when it comes to learning delivery modalities to address certain issues and challenges.

“We are aware of the problem of Internet and connectivi­ty, and so it is not only modular which is the solution,” Briones said. “We are addressing these now [but] in

the near future, it might get harder so all the other modalities are being studied carefully,” she added.

In lieu of face-to-face learning this school year, DepEd is implementi­ng a distance/blended learning approach. During the enrollment, students and their parents were asked what alternativ­e learning modality they would prefer based on their resources and capacity.

DepEd said modular distance learning is the most preferred modality among the options in the Basic Education-Learning Continuity Plan (BE-LCP) chosen by over nine million students and parents.

While printed modular can either be printed or digital, DepEd said that many parents and students opted for printed modular – posing challenges to the agency in terms of funding. After realigning its budget, DepEd was able to fund the reproducti­on of printed modules.

However, Briones underscore­d the need to gradually shift to digital because printed modular learning is quite “expensive.” She added that printed modules also have a negative impact on the environmen­t.

“We are aware that it will be difficult to sustain the [printed] modular because we need to use paper,” Briones said. Aside from the number of trees that will be sacrificed, ink and maintenanc­e of machines – among others – she noted that “we have estimates that this would be expensive and would be really hard to sustain,” she added.

While there are also other issues that need to be addressed on other modalities, Briones assured that DepEd continues to coordinate with various agencies and partners.

“We’re continuous­ly talking with the DICT [Department of Informatio­n and Communicat­ions Technology], NTC [National Telecommun­ications Commission] and telcos but we’re not exclusive online, there are other modalities like radio and TV and in other countries, they are already developing other means such as robot teachers,” she said. “So, there are alternativ­es being considered not only in this country but other countries as well,” she ended.

Handwashin­g habit

As it implements home-based learning in lieu of in-person classes this school year, the DepEd called on parents Thursday to make sure homes are safe and that children are taught to make handwashin­g a habit.

With the children continuing their learning at home because of the pandemic, Education Secretary Leonor Briones called on families to make their homes a safe environmen­t to live and learn and teach their children to make handwashin­g a habit so “when we do return to school, handwashin­g will be key in ensuring safety of our children.”

Briones said that DepEd has been celebratin­g Global Handwashin­g Day every Oct. 15 in schools since 2000. This, she said, is “in recognitio­n of the importance of building the habit of handwashin­g among children to ensure their health.”

Through the WASH in Schools Program, Briones said DepEd has institutio­nalized actions to improve handwashin­g facilities and instill handwashin­g behavior among learners. “Now under the new normal, our Basic Education-Learning Continuity Plan also integrates handwashin­g practice as part of the required health standards,” she said.

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