MANILA — The printing of self-learning modules (SLMs) for the first quarter of the upcoming academic year is "60 to 80 percent complete," the Department of Education said Monday, 2 weeks before the start of a school year that will see a shift to new modes of teaching due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The DepEd has given the modules—which will be used by students without means for online classes—to the regional and division offices in order to decentralize and speed up printing.
"As reported by our 17 regional directors, most of them are now 60 [to] 80 percent complete in terms of the production of the modules for the first quarter requirement," Education Undersecretary Revsee Escobedo said, noting that the modules would be ready for distribution when the school year starts by Aug. 24.
Last week, the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) said they have received reports from teachers on a "myriad of issues" related to reproduction of the modules.
ACT said some schools have reproduced modules developed by the schools and division offices, while the "promised materials" from the DepEd Central Office remained unavailable.
Education Undersecretary Diosdado San Antonio said the modules have been uploaded at the DepEd's online learning platform, the DepEd Commons, for everyone to access.
But San Antonio said he does not discount the possibility that some teachers have yet to see the modules from the DepEd Central Office.
STRICTER QUARANTINE TO AFFECT PREPARATIONS
The agency's officials also acknowledged that the return of Metro Manila and its neighboring provinces under modified enhanced community quarantine would affect the preparations for the coming school year.
But Education Secretary Leonor Briones said classes would still push through in areas that would not be able to finish the reproduction of modules by Aug. 24.
"Mag-start ang classes, but hindi deretso kaagad sa learning modules," she said, adding that there are other learning activities for students.
San Antonio said schools and division offices may use "locally-developed SLMs."
"Textbooks, mapped with MELCs (most essential learning competencies), when used with activity sheets and weekly learning plans, can be sufficient substitutes for SLMs," he said.
DepEd-National Capital Region Director Malcolm Garma said printing of modules in the region was still ongoing despite the reimposition of MECQ.
Results of a DepEd survey conducted during the enrollment period in public schools showed that learning through printed and digital modules emerged as the most preferred distance learning method.