Senator Christopher “Bong” Go (File photo)
MANILA – Senator Christopher “Bong” Go on Monday called on the Department of Education (DepEd) and other institutions to ensure the quality and appropriateness of learning modules while implementing blended learning amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
Go made this appeal after a learning material with what is perceived as “provocative” and “malicious” content went viral on social media.
“Nakarating na ito kay Pangulong Duterte at gusto niyang ipahuli at panagutin ang mga gumawa ng modules na may lamang kabastusan. Hindi natin ‘yan palalampasin (This information reached President Duterte and he wants those responsible for these malicious modules arrested. We will not let them go unpunished,” Go warned.
Go said that under blended learning, students are required to adjust to new learning techniques through a mix of online classes and prepared modules provided to them as alternatives to a traditional classroom set-up.
With relatively limited guidance from teachers, he emphasized that the accuracy and appropriateness of learning materials provided through modules must meet quality standards for blended learning to work.
“Dahil walang face-to-face, limitado ang opportunity ng guro na gabayan ang mga estudyante. Kaya naman po mahalaga na masiguro ang kalidad ng mga learning materials at modules na ginagamit nila (Because there is no face-to-face [classes], teachers have limited opportunity to guide their students. So it is important to ensure the quality of learning materials and modules they are using),” he said.
With the recent signing of Republic Act 11476, or Good Manners and Right Conduct and Values Education Act, Go said values formation must be at the core of education and not simply be an additional subject or requirement.
“Learning modules must adhere to set standards. They must be child-friendly, appropriate, and teaches good values,” Go said.
The DepEd has already disowned the viral provocative learning materials, saying these did not come from the department.
Education Secretary Leonor Briones assured that they will take action on the matter.
Based on the initial investigation, DepEd found out that a private Catholic school in Zambales, Carmel Academy of Palauig Inc., used the controversial learning module.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) reported that the preparation, review, final printing, and distribution of all learning materials, including the viral module, were all made by the Association of Catholic Schools of the Diocese of Iba (ACSDI).
In a report of the Zambales Schools Division Superintendent to the regional office of DepEd, the modules were developed by member schools of ACSDI and submitted to the latter for reproduction.
The DepEd-Zambales has issued a memorandum and ACSDI superintendent, Rev. Fr. Reymann Catindig, apologized for the modules on behalf of the association. He promised to strengthen the implementation of their guidelines regarding the writing of the modules.
With the implementation of blended learning, Go said the government must adopt a holistic approach to education which includes reliable internet connectivity for a conducive digital learning environment, trained teachers, and quality learning resources.
“Kaya naman po hinihikayat ko ang DepEd na gawing mas accessible at inclusive ang kanilang mga programa kahit saan mang parte ng bansa sa pamamagitan ng online at offline methods of teaching (That’s why we encouraged the DepEd to make the program more accessible and inclusive in any part of the country through online and offline methods of teaching),” he said.
Go earlier recommended to the education sector to maximize the use of available media, such as television and radio, to facilitate distance learning among students.
In a Senate hearing on September 25, Go supported the proposed DepEd budget and urged the internet providers to improve their services. (PR)