Senator Sherwin Gatchalian on Wednesday asked the Department of Education (DepEd) to look into reports that parents are paying for people to answer the learning modules of their children.
He called this the “sagot-for-sale” or answers-for-sale scheme, recalling reports from a teachers group in one of the Senate basic education committee’s hearings on the implementation of blended and distance learning modes during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“There is a what I call ‘sagot for sale’ activities na may mga parents ata nagbabayad para sagutan ‘yong mga modules (That parents are paying people to answer modules for their children),” Gatchalian, the committee’s head, said at the resumption of the panel’s public inquiry on March 3.
“You should also look into this,” he told DepEd Undersecretary Diosdado San Antonio, who was representing the agency in the hearing.
Senator Nancy Binay also cited reports that parents have been answering the self-learning modules in the stead of their children.
“May mga biruan na nga na baka dapat nga si nanay ang bigyan ng medal at hinidi daw ‘yong anak kasi kadalasan daw sila ‘yong sumasagot doon sa mga learning modules (There are already jokes that mothers should be the ones receiving medals, and not the students, since most of the time, they are the ones answering their children’s learning modules),” Binay said.
San Antonio, in response, said the DepEd had expected the said apprehensions before it implemented the alternative learning modalities last year. He, however, said that such activities are already “beyond the control” of the agency.
“We were very clear that this school year, since home-based siya (since it is home-based), is also the best time to teach honesty to our own children,” the Deped official said.
“If the parents would want to develop cheats, hindi na po namin ‘yon masosolusyonan (we cannot solve that anymore). At ang sabi po ni Ma’am Liling, hindi naman pwedeng pilitin natin na maging honest yan, o magcomply lahat ng bata (And like Ma’am Liling said, we cannot force children to be honest and always be compliant),” he added.
Teachers, he noted, also have a “way” to know whether or not the children were actually the ones doing their tasks. He said there have been several cases in the country that teachers talked to parents about this activity.
“Virtue of honesty [is] hard to find…It’s interesting to know na baka (maybe) this is a value that needs to be taught. Hindi na siya ganoon ka-common, ‘yong honesty (Honesty is no longer common) in light of the situation,” Binay said, asking the DepEd for a report on the matter.