DepEd trends after a ‘terrifying’ error was found in a learning module

Published June 14, 2021, 10:48 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

“DepEd” also known as the Department of Education in the Philippines became trending on social media Monday night, June 14, after a terrifying definition of an equally terrifying creature surprised lawmakers and other education stakeholders alike.

Netizens took to Twitter their concerns on the recent error found in a learning module produced by DepEd for students who are studying under the distance learning set-up this school year.

As of this writing, “DepEd” topped the list of trending topics in the Philippines on Twitter with over 1,500 Tweets.

DepEd trends on Twitter on June 14, 2021

Educator and “sick books” crusader Antonio Calipjo Go revealed a copy of a module discussing supernatural creatures in Filipino folklore during a Committee Hearing earlier. One module, which was used by Grade 10 students in Pampanga, defined “aswang” as a sex-crazed creature who is supposedly a human who eats fellow humans.

As stated in the module, “Aswang” was defined as: “Siya rin ay isang diyos pero ang Aswang ay pinaniniwalaan na ito’y tao na kumakain ng kapwa tao, kung minsan ang mga ito ay pinapaniwalaan na may mga pakpak at sila raw ay gising kung gabi para maghanap ng m*ka*ant*t or maaswang.”

Aside from the “inaccurate” definition of the word “aswang,” what came as a shock was the vulgar word which – when translated to English – refers to sexual intercourse.

Twitter user with handle @lemeuxxST remarked that DepEd – which is now trending alongside the obscene word – “is the most unexpected breakthrough in the education system of PH.”

@PAWSTEVE, on the other hand, said: “I no longer think this is an issue of proofing. It is evident that the content creators employed by DEPED are questionable. Hindi na ‘to typo or oversight! Mag-“errata” daw? This type of mistake places the integrity of the whole educational materials in question.”

For user @Sunwon28: “This is just one of the many reasons why deped Should make a concrete plan on how to manage face to face classes!! Hindi na nga Natututo balak nyo pang sirain Ang mga utak Ng estudyante!!”

An ‘error is an error’

DepEd Undersecretary Tonisito Umali explained that the agency has been monitoring all the supposed reported errors found in the modules during the said hearing.

However, Umali noted that based on the findings of DepEd, not all reported errors can be “considered as errors.” “Hindi po lahat ng nakitang tila mali ay pwede pong ituring na mali – maliban sa maling spelling (Not everything that seems wrong can be considered wrong – except for misspellings),” he said.

Umali also explained that some of those perceived as errors are somewhat a matter of “usage” and “editorial preference.”

However, Calipjo Go – who has been pointing out errors in learning materials for years – said that this reasoning is not acceptable. “When will this end? The problem with DepEd is that they do not admit the mistakes,” he said in a mix of English and Filipino.

“They’re saying it’s a matter of preference or editorial usage but this is non-negotiable, an error is an error and DepEd cannot wash its hand off it because it is from a division [office],” he added.

However, DepEd Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction Diosdado San Antonio begged to disagree – noting that “reporting mechanisms” are in place to rectify and address reported errors modules and other learning materials.

“That is not true, in fact, this is the reason why DepEd is issuing errata and we also ask the teachers to explain to their students that this particular aspect of the module is wrong,” San Antonio added.


San Antonio also noted that the said “error” was among the 155 validated errors in modules since the School Year (SY) 2020-2021 started in October last year.