Distributed learning modules is not a gauge of school opening readiness -- DepEd

The Department of Education (DepEd) on Monday stressed that the number of distributed printed modules should not be used as a gauge to assess the overall readiness for the Oct. 5 school opening.

DepEd issued this reminder following reports coming from various regions and school division offices (SDOs) on the status of printing and reproduction of Self Learning Modules (SLMs) to be used by the students when classes officially start.

DepEd Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction Diosdado San Antonio, during the virtual “Handang Isip, Handa Bukas” press briefing, said that the status of reproduction and distribution of SLMs should not be used as a sole indicator on the readiness to open schools.

“Hindi puwedeng husgahan 'yung kahandaan just because hindi pa nakakarating ang printed self-learning modules (We cannot judge the readiness just because the printed self-learning modules have yet to arrive),” San Antonio said in response to reports coming from teachers and school leaders that they have yet to receive and distribute printed modules.

San Antonio noted that as of last week, 179 out of the 214 SDOs or 83.63 percent have reported that they “are on track” on the reproduction of modules. “There are 35 SDOs or 16.36 percent that reported they are at the ‘progressing’ stage,” he explained.

Since printed SLMs is the most popular choice for students and parents, San Antonio said that SDOs are preparing for the distribution of physical modules to their students.

In the coming grading quarters, San Antonio said that DepEd has tapped private partners for the printing of SLMs for distribution.

“Our thrust is that in the first quarter, we tried to accommodate the preference of families that’s why printed SLMs became a popular choice,” he said. However, due to the challenges in printing the SLMs -- especially on the availability of funds -- DepEd will “discourage” the parents of students that have gadgets to avail themselves of the printed modules.

“This would mean a significant reduction in our requirements,” San Antonio said. He noted that 59 percent of the 22 million enrolees in public schools opted for printed modules. “Hopefully, in the coming months, we will encourage those who have smartphones and other gadgets to choose digital formats,” he added.

Aside from printed SLMs, San Antonio also explained that locally-developed learning materials may also be used by schools and teachers. “This is part of our identified contingencies as well as textbooks that have learning activity sheets and plans,” he added.

Of all the regions, San Antonio said that only nine regions will be distributing 1:1 student-module ratio. “However, it does not mean that if all the learners who opted for printed modules will not receive a copy, then we cannot push through with the school opening anymore. There are still other options that can be used.”