Apologies will not be enough.
This is the unanimous decision made by the key officials of the Department of Education (DepEd) against individuals who will be found responsible for erroneous or inappropriate learning materials distributed to students.
Education Secretary Leonor Briones told the Manila Bulletin in a phone interview late Wednesday night, March 31, that DepEd has decided “not to tolerate” any further the acts committed by certain individuals that continue to “put the agency in a bad light.”
“This time, apologies are not sufficient,” Briones said following reports of inappropriate contents found in some learning materials that were called out by netizens on social media.
Just this week, DepEd was called out by netizens after photos of learning materials insulting former Senator Manuel “Mar” Roxas II went viral.
Photos of a module in Cebu calling for the removal of President Duterte are also currently making rounds online.
“Apologies are not enough for these errors,” Briones said. “It’s exceeding the limits… and apologizing is no longer enough,” she added.
These incidents, Briones said, prompted DepEd to “expand the range of investigation” to find out more details about the acts committed by certain individuals. “We will impose appropriate sanctions and legal remedies provided for by the law for such acts,” she added.
In the previous errors, Briones said that apologies were issued by the people involved. “There is no quality assurance because many of these are not modules but learning materials used for classroom teaching,” she explained.
DepEd has been repeatedly bashed on social media because of learning materials which seemed to contain inappropriate content. “They are making it appear as if these modules are used nationwide when they are not,” Briones said. “There are just so many incidents where protocols were ignored so we’re imposing sanctions – apologies are not enough,” she added.
Briones said that those individuals who will be identified as responsible for such acts after the investigation will be given “appropriate sanctions.” She also warned the persons involved in the production of learning materials with inappropriate content that “they will be penalized.”
Meanwhile, Briones stressed that there will be due process and that the “sanctions or penalties will depend on the severity of the neglect” after the investigation.
Amid the reported issues regarding the modules, Briones said that DepEd continues to tighten its existing policies. “We’re reviewing our protocols that were repeatedly ignored,” she said.
Briones maintained learning materials with inappropriate content have no place in DepEd. “We can no longer tolerate this and we would also like to remind our people to never use a living or non-living person as a negative example – especially in modules or learning materials,” she ended.