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.
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.