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The first day of the test broadcast of television episodes of the Department of Education (DepEd) for distance learning did not go smoothly.
After receiving criticism from Filipinos online over glaring and "painful" grammar errors, the DepEd vowed to improve the TV episodes as the school opening draws near on August 24.
"Mas nakatutok ito sa teknikal na aspeto ng broadcasting, mula recording, file conversion, ingestion, mapping, hanggang actual broadcasting. Tama ang mga komento ng mamamayan na may mga mali nga sa accuracy at maging sa grammar at typography," Education Undersecretary Alain Pascua said in a statement on Wednesday, August 12.
(The test run was more focused on the technical aspect of the broadcasting, from recording, file conversion, ingestion, mapping, to actual broadcasting. Public comments that it had errors with accuracy as well as grammar and typography were valid.)
The DepEd started the test broadcast of educational programs on August 11 and will run until August 21.
In one of the episodes aired on Tuesday, netizens were quick to point out the grammar error in a sample questionnaire for a Grade 8 level English course.
According to Pascua, the test broadcast of the episodes is being done to assess the current capability of the country for broadcast learning. "First time po namin itong gagawin, kaya may mga test runs," he added. (It's the first time we're doing this, hence the test runs.)
Pascua said the test run would provide them with the necessary assessments they need to improve the system.
With the feedback it received from the public, Pascua said the agency's quality assurance team will thoroughly check the content of the episodes before airing in the coming school year.
"Asahan po ninyo na patuloy ang pagsasaayos na ginagawa ng DepEd upang maging maayos at handa ang lahat para sa darating na pagbubukas ng klase, mapa-online, radyo, tv o modular man," Pascua said.
(Expect the agency to continue fixing issues to make sure everything is ready for the school opening, whether it's online, on radio or TV, or through modular learning.)
This was not the first time the agency encountered challenges in relation to school opening preparations.
The DepEd launch of the "school readiness program" on Monday morning, August 10, was marred by technical glitches. (READ: Technical problems force DepEd to postpone launch of school 'readiness' program)
There were also reports teachers still did not have copies of the self-learning modules ahead of school opening. (READ: 3 weeks into school opening, teachers say they still don't have copies of learning modules)
The DepEd decided to shift to distance learning for the coming school year to comply with the President's order that schools postpone face-to-face classes until a coronavirus vaccine becomes available. (READ: Senators remind DepEd: New law allows class opening past August during calamities)
But many have criticized the DepEd's decision to open classes in the middle of a health crisis. (READ: No student left behind? During pandemic, education 'only for those who can afford')
Teachers themselves have been asking the DepEd to delay classes to a later date to give them more time to prepare for the digital shift. Despite this, Briones said classes will begin on August 24 in "whatever form." (WATCH: Handa na bang magbukas ng klase sa Agosto 24 ang Pilipinas?)
The Philippine government has allowed the conduct of "limited" face-to-face classes in low-risk areas in the country starting January 2021. (READ: Duterte allows 'limited' face-to-face classes in low-risk areas)