The Department of Education (DepEd) tapped the country’s top broadcast journalists to help its teachers for the broadcast learning this coming school year as the schools shift to distance learning.
“We are very fortunate to have the decades of combined broadcast and hosting experience of multi-awarded broadcast journalists, and television and radio personalities from the country’s biggest networks – GMA7, ABS-CBN and TV5 – to guide our Teacher-Broadcasters for DepEd TV,” said Education Undersecretary Alain Pascua in a statement on Friday, September 18.
In a Viber message to Rappler, Pascua said the training sessions were done virtually and began on July 2. They will last until next year.
“Trainings [are] done via video lessons and then there are some broadcast journalists that appear live on the webinar. Everything is done voluntarily and the networks have graciously supported the effort,” Pascua said.
The broadcast journalists include Jessica Soho, Korina Sanchez, and Karen Davila, among a host of other knowledgable industry figures.
DepEd said its Teacher-Broadcaster Training Program will help select Teacher-Broadcaster candidates to be effective presenters on television, and allow them to better understand the elements of video production.
Information and Communications Technology Service Director Abram Abanil said that DepEd is eyeing to produce 130 TV episodes per week, which cover only the major subject areas under the most essential learning competencies.
Aside from training teachers, DepEd is also planning to build broadcast-ready studios nationwide to cover all Division Offices. To date, 16 areas are already preparing for this, including Ilocos Norte, Lanao del Norte, Pangasinan, Zamboanga, Palawan, and Davao.
DepEd is set to have its final test broadcast from September 21 to 25 via IBC-13 and other partner networks. This includes the evaluation of content materials, designs, themes, and templates.
The agency has identified at least 9 channels for the airing of the TV episodes.
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 said the TV episodes and online learning would just supplement the modular mode learning for the first two quarters of school year 2020-2021 as the agency fine-tunes the alternative learning modes.
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 24,491,395 public and private schools have signed up for the school opening. This is 3 million lower than last year’s 27.7 million enrollees.