MANILA – The Department of Education (DepEd) on Wednesday clarified that a lesson describing actress Angel Locsin as an obese person was not part of the agency’s self-learning module.
Speaking to ANC’s “Matters of Fact,” Education Undersecretary Diosdado San Antonio said the material was a teacher-made summative assessment that sought to evaluate the students’ learning for a Physical Education class.
“It was not really like used in the whole DepEd. It was just for a group of learners the teacher was handling,” he said.
The material, which was made by a male teacher in Occidental Mindoro, has since went viral on social media.
San Antonio said the material was not acceptable and had been withdrawn while the agency had also apologized to the actress for the incident.
The involved teacher will undergo an administrative proceeding and may face sanction, he added.
The education official said they had been calling on teachers “to be very sensitive about social issues.”
“But unfortunately, some people have not been attentive to the instruction. We have to be careful about statements that will discriminate certain sectors, that will put to shame certain institutions or even human beings,” he said.
He added, “It’s really a professional duty of a teacher to prepare assessment question for the classes he or she handles.”
San Antonio also said teachers could not argue academic freedom because they had to “respect certain norms, laws and guidelines.”
“My understanding is academic freedom is exercise more in higher educational institutions, meaning universities and colleges,” he said.
“We, teachers in the basic education sector, I think do not have as much freedom to invoke with regards to our choices of resources or design of resources to use.”