The Department of Education (DepEd) today warned the public against the use of outdated books and unaccredited online learning materials, as the Philippines prepares to dive into the new school year through the use of various media, or what it calls “blended learning.”
Education Secretary Leonor Briones said in the government’s Laging Handa (“Always Ready”) virtual presser that some companies have been distributing online resources that have not been approved by the DepEd.
Briones said that the circulation of these materials is worrying.
“One, we have a basic curriculum that gauges the corresponding learning competencies of students. Second, they could be making money at the expense of the public and the DepEd. We don’t even know if they paid taxes or not, but most important is the content…it does a lot of harm if the material is unaccredited,” she said.
She cited an example of an unaccredited textbook that bore the DepEd seal, which misidentified the Banaue Rice Terraces as “Banana Rice Terraces.”
Besides that, Briones said that there are books that “are being used that have been out of circulation for years. Schools are still using them, but it is really against the law and we are taking appropriate action on that.”
Meanwhile, she said that according to President Rodrigo Duterte, classes in public schools will resume in August, while private schools have the option of reopening a month after. This is because the president has ordered the postponement of “face-to-face” classes until a vaccine for COVID-19 becomes available.
“I want to repeat because there are different debates on social media. [The] opening of classes will resume [on] August 24, 2020. But private schools will have leeway until September,” the secretary said.
Schools will also have to adjust according to each of their unique challenges.
“We are used to one formula, one framework… but there is no one size fits all, different regions have different situations, some have [internet] connectivity [while] some don’t. So they will each have to adjust based on their needs,” Briones said.
The Education chief added that the DepEd is currently surveying how many kids in the provinces have cellphones, and said Duterte might possibly order giving out transistor radios to far-flung areas to help students cope with blended learning. DepEd is also distributing textbooks and printed learning modules to students living in villages that have no access to radio, TV, and the internet.
In a social media post today, the DepEd said that online learning materials from its Commons website and official learning resource portal are authorized platforms that can be accessed and downloaded for free. The department also urged the public to report the illegal distribution of learning materials by emailing email@example.com, or by calling the numbers listed below.
This article, Education Dep’t warns against outdated books as PH students dive into blended learning, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!