MANILA - The Department of Education (DepEd) said on Monday it would discourage students with gadgets from getting self-learning modules due to the high cost of printing the learning materials.
Education Undersecretary Diosdado San Antonio said the printed modules were in response to the initial preference of students and parents.
"Sa mga susunod na grading period o quarters, susubukin natin na kung iyong mga pamilya ay may mga gadgets, idi-discourage na natin kumuha ng printed self-learning modules," he said in a virtual press briefing.
(For the next grading period or quarters, we will try to discourage families who have gadgets from getting printed self-learning modules.)
San Antonio said students with gadgets can instead use modules in the digital format.
"Iyong may smartphones at gadgets ay ie-encourage natin 'yong digital format na [ang gamitin] para hindi na masyadong marami ang pangangailangan sa mga papel," he said.
(We will encourage those with smartphones and gadgets to use digital format so we would no longer have a high demand for paper.)
Education Secretary Leonor Briones earlier said she hoped schools would be less dependent on printed modules as a distance learning modality, citing the high costs and negative impact on the environment by using paper.
Education Undersecretary Annalyn Sevilla has said the department might not be able to follow a 1:1 module-to-student ratio next year due to lack of funding under the proposed 2021 budget.
The department needs P35 billion to cover the printing of modules next year, but has only P15 billion allotted under its 2021 budget.
Last week, the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition said DepEd should halt the production of self-learning modules, which it found impractical considering other learning resources could be used in distance learning.
Some local government units have acquired gadgets — including laptops and tablets — for teachers and students in their localities.