DepEd: Most students prefer ‘modular’ learning over online

Of all the alternative learning modalities offered by the Department of Education (DepEd) this upcoming school year, most students prefer to use the “modular” distance learning option.

Since face-to-face classes are not yet allowed, the DepEd will implement Blended/Distance learning wherein the combination of the various distance learning modalities such as printed modules, offline digital modules, online, and TV and Radio-based instruction will be used by students and teachers when classes formally start on August 24.

Based on the partial results of the Learner Enrollment and Survey Forms (LESFs) distributed during the enrollment period, it showed 7.2 million enrollees prefer to use modular distance learning, TV & Radio based instructions and other modalities while only 2 million enrollees prefer online for school year 2020-2021. 

Latest data from DepEd showed that 3, 885, 427 learners prefer “modular” wherein modules - either printed or digital - will be used as an alternative learning option.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones said that when DepEd conducted a survey on school opening in April, the respondents at that time said that they wanted “combination modalities” for this school year. “But during the enrollment, we specifically asked the learners or the enrollees what do they prefer as a learning delivery mode and ‘modular’ was very much preferred,” she explained in a mix of English and Filipino.

Meanwhile, a total of 2, 074, 010 learners said that they wanted online while 1,940, 054 responded that they prefer combination of face-to-face with other modalities. A total of 744, 648 learners said they want to use television while 358, 270 preferred radio-based instruction. Some 401, 903 responded that they prefer “other” alternative learning modalities.

Online is not the only option 

Given the initial result of its survey on the preference of learners, Briones maintained that “education in the new normal is not only online” - thus, there is no need for parents and learners to buy gadgets or devices if their situation or financial status do not allow them do so.

In order to suit every learner’s need and capacity, Briones explained that DepEd has prepared different learning delivery modalities for them. “DepEd puts focus on self-learning modules as the primary learning tool that can cater to all students, which can then be blended with other learning delivery modalities that the student has access to,” she explained. 

Using blended/distance learning modalities, Briones explained that lessons will be delivered to the students in their homes through printed modules prepared for learners who have limited access or have absolutely no access to internet and digital services; via online learning resources such as the DepEd Commons; and Television or radio-based instruction.

Briones noted DepEd remains committed to its mandate to deliver quality education, no matter the circumstance. “We believe and support our local government units and the Department of Information and Communications Technology are working hard to ensure that areas in the Philippines get better connectivity, which can greatly help in the implementation of blended learning,” she added.

In preparation for the opening of classes in August, Briones that production of Self-Learning Modules (SLMs) that will be integrated with the alternative learning delivery modalities which will be offered for various types of learners across the Philippines is currently ongoing.

“The preparations for SLMs started in May and are still ongoing,” Briones said. “The different Regions are in the last stage of completing module development as well as aligning earlier developed modules with the Most Essential Learning Competencies (MELCs),” she ended.