'We're not perfect': DepEd appeals for public understanding after module blunders

After drawing flak over errors in modules for distance learning, a Department of Education (DepEd) official appealed for public understanding as the agency adjusts to the revamped education system.

"This [will] not [be] the last time there will be errors I assure you, because we are not perfect.... We have been here for just 4 or 5 months. We are not really journalists or broadcasters in this line of work," Education Undersecretary Alain Pascua said in a virtual press briefing on Thursday, October 8.

"If the people, the media and the public are looking for perfect episodes, give us so much time," Pascua appealed.

Pascua said that DepEd has over 40 steps in checking the quality of content of their TV episodes. This includes subject experts' review of the module, script writing following DepEd styles, checking of scripts, and the approval of the scripts by the executive producers.

Pascua noted that they produce 27 videos every day, and about 130 to 220 videos every week, but DepEd TV only has a workforce of less than 200.

"May makakalusot talaga dahil (There will really be errors that will slip past us because) we're not living in a perfect world," he said, adding that they have been tapping volunteers to check the quality of their content.

Pascua also said that their teachers are being trained "on how to be effective broadcasters." (READ: DepEd taps PH's broadcast journalists to train teachers for TV programs)

Module blunders

A day after school opened, netizens spotted a mathematical equation with an incorrect solution that was aired on DepEd TV on IBC-13 and streamed on Facebook on Tuesday, October 6. (READ: Uh-oh: DepEd in hot water again for error in math equation aired on TV)

This was not the first time that netizens spotted an error on DepEd TV. In August, netizens were also quick to point out "glaring" and "painful" grammar errors in a sample questionnaire for a Grade 8 level English course.

On Monday, over 24 million students started classes in the country in the middle of a pandemic. Despite issues experienced by students, teachers, and parents, Education Secretary Leonor Briones decribed the school opening as a success. (WATCH: Empty classrooms as Philippines starts classes during pandemic)

Following President Rodrigo Duterte's directive for schools to delay face-to-face classes until a coronavirus vaccine becomes available, the DepEd has shifted to distance learning. (READ: FAST FACTS: DepEd’s distance learning)

Distance learning is when teachers and students are geographically remote from each other during their classes. This means lessons are delivered outside the traditional face-to-face setup, through a mix of modular learning, online learning, and TV and radio broadcasts.

The opening of classes had already been delayed twice to allow schools, teachers, students, and parents to prepare for the demands of distance learning. – 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.

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