distance learning

Briones: Damaged schools due to Rolly’s onslaught won’t affect module production

Bonz Magsambol
(UPDATED) Briones also advises schools to solve on their own the problem of damaged learning modules caused by Super Typhoon Rolly

Education Secretary Leonor Briones gave assurances that the production of self-learning modules (SLMs) will not be affected though some schools were damaged due to the onslaught of Super Typhoon Rolly (Goni).

“I don’t think it will affect our module production since we already produced the learning modules for the 1st quarter,” Briones said in a virtual press briefing on Tuesday, November 3.

At the same time, Briones also advised schools to solve on their own the problem of damaged learning modules caused by Super Typhoon Rolly.

Halimbawa, nabasa ang module, siguro hindi naman susulat ang [schools] superintendent na, ‘basa ang module namin.’ Maghanap sila ng paraan. Siguro ibibilad nila, ‘yung iba pinaplantsa. Hindi na sila uutusan ng circular galing sa central office para sabihin kung ano ang gagawin,” Briones said.

(For example, the modules got soaked in the flood, I suppose the schools superintendent would not be writing to us, saying that “our modules are wet.” They should find ways. Maybe they’re going to expose them under the sun, or dry them using a clothes iron. They will no longer be ordered through a circular from the central office to tell them what to do.)

Briones added that this is the agency’s way of encouraging schools to take initiative in solving problems like this, instead of waiting for marching orders from the DepEd central office.

Ngayon, ine-encourage natin ang initiative ng mga schools para maghanap sila, [at] magdevelop sila ng solusyon sa mga challenges,” she said. (Now, we encourage initiative from schools to look for ways, and develop solutions for challenges.)

Less dependence on printed modules

Briones also said that the production of SLMs for the 2nd quarter will not be a problem for schools anymore as the Department of Education (DepEd) has assigned a unit in charge of printing.

Briones reiterated that the agency is “trying to reduce dependency on printed modules” because of the negative impact on the environment.

“We’re moving to other ways of transmitting learning without using up and killing all our trees,” she said. (READ: Briones says modular learning ‘expensive,’ has ‘big effect’ on environment)

An alternative eyed for Metro Manila schools, for example, is using gadgets where lessons will already be downloaded so internet connection will no longer be required.

However, access to technology remains a problem for most students in provinces, especially those whose families were badly hit by the economic downturn due to the coronavirus pandemic.

226 schools damaged, 869 serving as evacuation centers

According to the DepEd, a total of 226 schools were damaged while 869 schools have been used as evacuation centers for families displaced by Rolly. (READ: Bicol homes and schools in ruins after onslaught of Super Typhoon Rolly, lahar flow)

Table from DepEd report

Briones said they are working closely with other government agencies to repair the damaged schools.

But she noted that Rolly’s onslaught has had a “minimal” effect on the education sector since classes are being done remotely. (READ: FAST FACTS: DepEd’s distance learning)

“As I said, the damage was minimized because we don’t have face-to-face classes now,” Briones said in a mix of English and Filipino.

At least 20 people were killed when Rolly, the world’s strongest tropical cyclone so far this year, battered Southern Luzon last Sunday, November 1. – Rappler.com

Bonz Magsambol

Bonz Magsambol is a multimedia reporter for Rappler, covering health, education, and social welfare. He first joined Rappler as a social media producer in 2016.