DepEd disowns viral photo of learning material that uses 'dirty names'

The Department of Education (DepEd) on Friday, September 25, said a viral photo of supposed learning material using "dirty names" in a questionnaire was not produced by the agency, but rather was from a review center.

During a Senate hearing on the DepEd's proposed budget for 2021 on Friday, Senator Joel Villanueva presented to the committee the viral photo and asked Education Secretary Briones if they produced the material.

"We have investigated that Senator Joel when I learned about it. It's not DepEd. It's a material produced by a review center for teachers for particular subjects. Nonetheless, that's still a dirty language. It's not appropriate at all," Briones said.

Briones added, "We're wondering why it was attributed to DepEd at all. [This is from] a review center. It's a material for grown ups. But that is not an excuse at all. We will take action."

The photo, posted by a Facebook user named Reyson Lee on Thursday, was said to be part of a learning module where lewd names were part of the text to possible answers for a given question. The names included were "Pining Garcia," "Abdul Salsalani," "Malou Wang" and "Tina Moran."

As of Friday evening, the photo has gotten over 15,000 shares and more than 15,000 reactions.

Meanwhile, Education Undersecretary Diosdado San Antonio appealed to the public not to attribute every learning material they see on social media to the DepEd.

"Not everything that will be posted on Facebook is an output of DepEd," San Antonio said.

San Antonio added they learned from their mistake last time and have a system in place to check the quality of content of learning materials.

"We have put into place review teams. We are also employing third party editors very soon," San Antonio said.

In a statement on Friday evening, DepEd said based on its investigation, a private Catholic school in Zambales produced the module.

"Learning resources in public schools have undergone quality assurance through our education specialists and our modules have yet to be utilized formally since public schools have yet to open on October 5, 2020," DepEd added.

In August, DepEd's test broadcast of TV episodes drew criticism following the glaring and "painful" grammar errors spotted by netizens in sample questionnaires for a Grade 8 level English course. (READ: After glaring, 'painful' grammar errors, DepEd vows to improve TV episodes for distance learning)

DepEd shifted to distance learning for the coming school year to comply with President Rodrigo Duterte's directive for schools to delay face-to-face classes until a coronavirus vaccine becomes available.

As of Thursday, a total of 24,633,586 public and private schools have signed up for the school opening. This is 3 million lower than last year's 27.7 million enrollees.

Public schools are set to open on October 5, while some private schools began their classes in August. –

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.