Citing costs, DepEd says schools should rely less on printed modules for distance learning

Jaehwa Bernardo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 10 2020 12:22 PM | Updated as of Sep 10 2020 12:24 PM

Citing costs, DepEd says schools should rely less on printed modules for distance learning 1
Teachers and school employees help to prepare Elementary school modules for blended learning for the coming school opening at the Geronimo Santiago Elementary School in Manila on July 21, 2020. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The Department of Education is hoping that schools would be less dependent on printed modules as a way to deliver lessons remotely to students, citing high costs and a negative impact on the environment.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones said the department recognizes the current need for printed self-learning modules — to be used by students unable to access digital modules or attend online classes — "but it should not be a permanent situation."

"May implikasyon kasi ang dependence sa modular learning dahil baka uubusin natin 'yong mga puno natin sa kaka-produce [ng learning modules]. 'Yong demand for paper [is high]," Briones said in a virtual press briefing on Wednesday.

(The dependence on modular learning has implications because we may use up our trees in the production. The demand for paper is high.)

"In the long run... talagang mas expensive ang modular (modular is more expensive)," she said.

Briones added that there should be a move towards online or technology-mediated learning since Filipino students may be left behind in global competitiveness.

"Nakakatulong talaga 'yong mayroon nang exposure at may karanasan ang kabataan natin sa online at saka sa technology," she said.

(Having exposure and experience online and with technology would really help our youth.)

Modular learning emerged as the most preferred distance learning modality by parents, based on a survey conducted by the DepEd during its 45-day enrollment period in public schools.

The DepEd has given its school division offices P9 billion to fund the provision of learning resources, including printed modules.

Education officials, however, acknowledge that funding from the department was insufficient but could be supplemented with funds from the local government or donations through the altered Brigada Eskwela program.

Public schools will implement distance learning in the coming school year, scheduled to start on October 5, as in-person classes remain suspended due to COVID-19, which has sickened over 245,000 in the country.