MANILA (UPDATE) – The Department of Education said Thursday it has started printing self-learning modules for students who will be unable to participate in online classes when the new school year begins using alternative learning modes because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The DepEd shared the self-learning modules to its regional and division offices to decentralize and speed up printing, according to Diosdado San Antonio, the agency’s undersecretary for curriculum and instruction.
“We are pressed against time so the fastest way to do things is to distribute the load among our field units,” said San Antonio, who added that the DepEd central office does not have an exact figure on how many modules would be printed as it depended on the need in localities and schools.
San Antonio said there are 700 self-learning modules that would be used for the first month of the school year, which cover lessons across all grade levels in basic education.
But the DepEd has started preparing modules for the subsequent months, he said.
The use of self-learning modules emerged as the most preferred distance learning method for students, based on the partial results of a DepEd survey conducted during the 45-day enrollment period in public schools.
The printing of modules is financed through the six funds sources identified by the department, which includes money from the agency and the Special Education Fund of local governments, according to Anne Sevilla, DepEd undersecretary for finance.
To conform to the DepEd’s mother tongue policy, some modules for learners in kindergarten to third grade are in the local languages, according to San Antonio.
The education official also noted that the modules have digital versions that learners can access using gadgets without necessarily going online.
The modules were designed by teachers and specialists, and underwent quality assurance at the department’s Bureau of Learning Resources, said San Antonio.
San Antonio also explained that the hiring of “home-learning facilitators” who will help in mentoring students at home also depended on the schools.
“Ang mga homes na hindi confident ang parent, kailangan ipagbigay-alam sa mga paaralan because there are volunteers saying they are willing to help facilitate home learning,” he said, noting that even school officials may also serve as facilitators.
(Parents who are not confident in teaching their children should inform the school because there are volunteers saying they are willing to help facilitate home learning.)
The move to get home-learning facilitators was conceived as government officials acknowledged that not all parents are capable of guiding their children, who would be studying at home after in-person classes remain largely suspended in the coming school year due to the continuing threat of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Classes in public schools are scheduled to start on August 24 while private schools are allowed to start earlier upon seeking the approval of DepEd’s regional directors.