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LEARNING MODALITIES PRICEY, MAY NOT MATCH OUTCOME - GOV
By: Eleanor Valeros | Published Wednesday, June 10, 2020
In a meeting with education officials on June 9, Gov. Gwen Garcia expressed concerns that the presented alternative modes of learning through modules, educational TV, radio and online programs, as well as homeschooling may not achieve the expected competencies among learners. (Junjie Mendoza)

Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia expressed apprehension on the alternative modes of learning for students in the province presented by the different Department of Education (DepEd) schools division representatives.

She said the modules for the distance learning modality might not successfully develop the expected competencies among learners.

“This might be ridiculously expensive but the learning is not proportionate to the expense,” Garcia pointed out.

Following President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive, DepED announced earlier that no physical classes will be held in the country until a vaccine against Covid-19 is made available. 

To be able to conduct off-campus classes beginning August 24, DepEd developed specific learning modalities such as distance learning through modules, educational television, radio, and online broadcast programs, as well as homeschooling.

Rosalie Pasaol, City of Naga schools division superintendent, said that for the 29,000 enrolled learners, they need P40 million to reproduce weekly modules and worksheets in the first three months of the school year. 

These materials will be delivered to the learners’ homes which will then be collected afterwards by the assigned teachers for assessment.

However, Garcia expressed concerns on the learning mastery of students on a remote learning-at-home setting, most especially those in pre-school and first grade.

“Wala pa man ni sila’y concept of letters, numbers, colors, shapes. Kanang higher grades atong i-presume nga kamao na na sila mobasa so makasabot na na sila sa instructions. But how about the beginners?” she asked.

Garcia also questioned the assurance of honesty among learners to accomplish their assignments and not let the parents or guardians answer them. 

Out of the 537,487 kindergarten up to Grade 12 students in Cebu Province surveyed by DepEd, only 92,920 or 17.29 percent have Internet connections for the supposed online learning. About 82.71 percent, or 444,567 learners, don’t have access to the internet, said Dr. Leah B. Apao, assistant schools division superintendent of the Province of Cebu.

DepEd Commons – commons.deped.gov.ph - provides content for each week in the school calendar for the 12 grade levels for each subject. DepEd needs to produce 60 e-learning resources per week assuming that there are five subject areas, bringing a total of 2,400 resources in a 40-week school calendar.

Roseller Gelig, officer-in-charge of Bogo City Schools Division, said that modules can reach up to 257 pages for Grade 1 and 150 pages for Grade 2. 

Aside from the said learning platform, materials are also provided online through Learning Resource Portal, and DOST Starbooks, among others.

Other school divisions such as Toledo City, Bogo City and Danao City mentioned of television and radio partnerships for “classrooms-on-air” type of learning modality. 

However, Garcia told them the application might take time because a new franchise, for example, of a television needs the approval of Congress. 

Also present in the education sector’s meeting with Garcia on Tuesday, June 9 were DepEd 7 Director Dr. Salustiano Jimenez, Cebu Province schools division superintendent Dr. Marilyn Andales, division superintendents of the cities of Carcar, Talisay, Toledo, and Danao, and Provincial Board Member Edsel Galeos who chairs the Committee on Education. 

The division superintendents are expected to present a more updated and comprehensive learning continuity plan in a meeting with the Provincial School Board soon. (Eleanor Valeros)