distance learning

Uh-oh: DepEd in hot water again for error in math equation aired on TV

Bonz Magsambol

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Uh-oh: DepEd in hot water again for error in math equation aired on TV
(UPDATED) Education Undersecretary Alain Pascua apologizes for the mistake, and urges the public not to single out their errors

The Department of Education (DepEd) is in hot water again.

A day after schools opened, netizens were quick to point out that a mathematical equation with an incorrect solution was aired on DepEd TV on Tuesday, October 6.

The error was first spotted by Facebook user named Jemima Manansala.

Manansala told Rappler on Wednesday, October 7, that she was checking DepEd TV episodes, which were also being streamed on the IBC-13 Facebook page, out of curiosity when she spotted the error.

“Sumilip lang talaga ako at nag-browse sa naunang na-stream. Sumakto lang dun ‘yung pag-move ko ng video bar,” she added. (I just took a peek and browsed their stream. It just happened that I was able to catch that part.)

In math, dividing any number by 0 is not possible because its result would be undefined.

“The reason that the result of a division by zero is undefined is the fact that any attempt at a definition leads to a contradiction,” an online lesson from the University of Utah explained.

The correct way of solving the problem is to divide both sides of the equation by 2. Then x is 0.

DepEd apologizes

In a statement, Education Undersecretary Alain Pascua apologized for the mistake.

“Humihingi po kami ng paumanhin sa ating mga mag-aaral, sa mga magulang, at teachers sa pagkakamaling ito,” he said. (We apologize to our students, parents, and teachers for this mistake.)

“Hihigpitan po natin ang pag-QA para maging perpekto ang ating mga episodes sa DepEd TV,” Pascua added.

(We will tighten our QA process so we can have perfect episodes for DepEd TV.)

Pascua also urged the public not to single out their mistakes. 

“Sana naman ay marecognize din ang galing at sakripisyo ng ating mga Teacher-Broadcasters, mga Production Team at buong DepEd TV, DepEd Commons, DepEd YouTube Channel Teams,” he said. (We hope that the public could also recognize the work and sacrifices of our Teacher-Broadcasters, our production team, and all the DepED TV, DepEd Commons, and YouTube Channel teams.)

This was not the first time that netizens spotted an error on DepEd TV episodes. 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 in the country started classes again in the middle of a pandemic. Despite issues experienced by students, teachers, and parents, Education Secretary Leonor Briones said that the school opening was 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 Department of Education 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

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Bonz Magsambol

Bonz Magsambol covers the Philippine Senate for Rappler.