MANILA— Before classes in public schools resumed on Monday, MAPEH (Music, Arts, Physical Education, and Health) teacher Antonio Andaya Jr. was able to give his students printed modules for the entire first grading period.
But these modules were only for physical education as Andaya had yet to receive the ones for music, arts and health from the Department of Education's division office in Malolos, Bulacan.
In case he does not get the modules, Andaya said he had prepared his own.
"Baka naman pasunod na (Maybe the remaining modules are coming). I would like to give them the benefit of the doubt," Andaya said.
Only 300 million of the 900 million printed self-learning modules were distributed to learners as of Sunday, a day before public school classes began, according to a report from the DepEd.
Citing information submitted by its regional offices, the DepEd said 921,341,980 self-learning modules (SLMs) have been printed as of Sunday.
But only 329,847,348 SLMs or 35.80 percent have been given to learners, based on the DepEd report.
"We have distributed almost all the 1st quarter requirements for SLMs with some that have to be distributed this week," Education Undersecretary Revsee Escobedo told ABS-CBN News on Tuesday, when sought for a comment on the matter.
In a September 27 report, the DepEd said it had distributed more than 533 million out of around 667 printed SLMs.
Escobedo explained that "the difference in the number of distributed SLMs, compared to the previous report is due to the recalibration and clarification sought by the Regional Offices regarding the revised template for the readiness report."
On Monday, Education Secretary Leonor Briones said those who have yet to receive their modules are late enrollees.
The DepEd earlier said schools could use other learning materials in the absence of SLMs as long as these are aligned with the revised basic education curriculum.
During the first day of classes, some teachers were also unable to teach as they were busy printing, collating and delivering printed modules, said the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT).
"Our bisita-eskwela and monitoring confirmed that centralized modules from DepEd’s national office have yet to reach [National Capital Region] schools," said ACT Secretary General Raymond Basilio.
Modules in Manila, Caloocan and Malabon were even "littered with errors or lacked certain pages," Basilio said.
Andaya, who has been teaching for a decade, also called on the DepEd to relieve teachers the task of module production.
"Hindi ko trabaho 'yan, kasi nagtuturo na ako," he said.
(That's not my job because I am already teaching.)
Briones claimed victory against COVID-19 as some 22 million public school students resumed their studies.
Despite this, Briones acknowledged that there would be "challenges" in the shift to distance learning, assuring the public that the department would respond accordingly.
Modular learning, where lessons are delivered to students through printed and digital modules, emerged as the most preferred distance learning modality for the school year, based on a survey conducted by the DepEd during the 45-day enrollment period.
Aside from printed modules, students can also study through digital modules and online classes conducted in videoconferencing platforms. Education programs will also be aired on television and radio.