Recognizing that the new learning modalities might be overwhelming in nature, the Department of Education (DepEd) on Monday reminded teachers not to bombard their students with too much school work or assignments.
DepEd Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction Diosdado San Antonio, during the virtual “Handang Isip, Handa Bukas” press briefing said that the agency has been receiving reports of students who are “overwhelmed” with the school work required by teachers.
“Kung ano lang ang kaya ng bata, yun lang muna ang isumite (The child should submit whatever he or she can at the moment),” San Antonio said. “Hindi naman po ito dapat panahon na super higpit tayo sa mga kung ano-anong ginagawa natin (Now is not the time to be so strict when it comes to certain activities),” he added.
When he went to Bicol to monitor the school opening, San Antonio shared that one of the impressions of some families is the “overwhelming” amount of homework given by the teachers. “We don’t blame our teachers because it is a manifestation of their eagerness to ensure that their students will be given enough opportunities to learn,” he explained.
San Antonio said that the school work given by teachers will help them gauge the students’ understanding of what is being tackled in the modules. “We understand these concerns and that is why we will be issuing a reminder to our teachers,” he added.
In the coming weeks, San Antonio said that DepEd will be reminding teachers on some strategies when it comes to homework. “When giving homework, it may not be necessary to give these simultaneously for all subjects,” he said. “When it comes to activities, we might need to make some adjustments so it will not lead to burnout,” he added.
San Antonio explained that students have as many as eight subjects. “If each teacher per subject will give one assignment, this will really be overwhelming,” he added.
Likewise, San Antonio said that teachers will be reminded of DepEd’s existing policies on homework. “We will reiterate our existing policy on homework – not all subjects have to have homework or activity that should be completed within the day,” he explained.
Since the contextualization of the self-learning modules (SLMs) is being done at the school level, San Antonio said that it is up to the team in-charge “to agree on the reasonable” amount of school work to be given to the students. “What we don’t want to happen is to turn the excitement of the students to feeling burned out if we give them too much work,” he added.
Meanwhile, a teachers’ federation on Monday urged education officials to own up to the reported problems and address these accordingly.
The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Philippines took a swipe at DepEd officials for trying to “absolve” themselves of accountabilities on issues concerning the school opening.