Teachers air problems on modular learning system

Published August 4, 2020, 4:58 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

A teachers’ federation on Tuesday called the attention of the Department of Education (DepEd) on various issues raised by public school teachers in the field regarding the preparation for modular learning.

(Photo courtesy of DepEd / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Based on the reports it has received, the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Philippines said that teachers  are raising a “myriad of issues” with the modular learning preparations which is being aggravated by the present health crisis.

In particular, ACT cited concerns of teachers in the National Capital Region (NCR) and some provinces in Region IV-A (Calabarzon) – which are currently placed under the Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ). Based on DepEd’s latest enrollment data, these two regions have the highest number of enrollees for School Year (SY) 2020-2021 out of the 17 regions.  

“Reports show that schools which have begun module reproduction print modules that were developed by schools and divisions as the promised material from the Central Office (CO) remain unavailable,” said ACT Secretary General Raymond Basilio. “Neither had these materials been vetted by DepEd CO,” he added.

Modular learning, based on the survey conducted by DepEd on school opening, is the most preferred learning delivery of parents for their children this SY. Under the modular learning, materials can be printed or in digitized form.

Basilio said that teachers expressed disappointment that while they have been tasked to make the activity sheets that will come with the modules, “they have not seen until today the copies of these modules, forcing them to just base the activity sheets on last year’s lessons.”

With modules from the Central Office, Basilio said that teachers “have no choice but to make do with what they have or else students will have no materials to use” when classes formally start on August 24.

Basilio also pointed out that “reproduction cost is also a big problem as schools were forced to find ways to raise funds in so short a time.” With the schools’ Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) almost depleted, ACT alleged that schools resort to soliciting private donations and maximizing teachers’ personal printers just to jumpstart the reproduction of modules.

“Many reported that LGUs helped save them from the problems, but LGU commitments in some areas were not yet delivered,” Basilio said. “Some divisions have shared that they received a few hundred thousand pesos from the central office for module printing but this would not even cover a tenth of the millions of pesos needed to reproduce the modules for the first grading period,” he added.

ACT also alleged that some teachers are even being made to report to school as late as 11:00 pm as their school or division implements a shifting schedule for teachers in order to finish the printing on time. While others reported a “one grade level per day” scheme in printing, collating, and organizing of learning packets where all the teachers for a particular year level will report on their assigned day of the week.

“Considering the imposition of MECQ in NCR and nearby provinces and the worsening health crisis preventing safe movement of teachers and staff, DepEd’s module preparation will further lag behind,” Basilio said. “While we anticipate that teachers will again be unjustly made to make up for lost time and limited options, there won’t be enough room to ready the modules by August 24,” he ended.