“The multitude of problems plaguing distance learning since its conception to its implementation has not been addressed by Secretary Briones and the rest of this administration. It’s enraging to hear her gloat now about some survey while our calls and cries have been largely ignored.”
By ANNE MARXZE D. UMIL
MANILA – Students and teachers in the Bicol region are facing greater challenges in distance learning as typhoon Rolly (international name: Goni) left the region with massive destruction.
In an online media forum, Nov. 6, Simona Alinio, vice president of Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) in Bicol said that not only the modules but also the equipment used to produce the modules were drenched due to flood.
Alinio took offense at Education Secretary Leonor Briones offering “a simple solution of just drying the modules under the sun or ironing the modules.”
“She didn’t care. It’s as if she’s neglecting us,” Alinio said.
Alinio added that before the classes started, they had to shell out money from their own pockets, and to plead for donations of bond papers and ink to print the modules. “Now all that we have worked hard for is gone,” she lamented.
Raymond Basilio, ACT secretary general of ACT, said that in times of calamities, Briones should act as a true leader that offers comprehensive solutions.
He said the Department of Education should help the Bicol region recover from the destruction brought about by the typhoon.
“This is where the central office should come in. Now that the materials were destroyed, they should help in reprinting the modules. The problem now is that the DepEd has no clear directives on how to help the schools regarding this,” he said.
Basilio said they are apprehensive that the teachers would have to deal with the printing of modules once again.
Basilio said that in one month of implementation of distance learning, teachers did not receive any support from the DepEd and from President Duterte.
“The multitude of problems plaguing distance learning since its conception to its implementation has not been addressed by Secretary Briones and the rest of this administration. It’s enraging to hear her gloat now about some survey while our calls and cries have been largely ignored,” Basilio said.
A recent Pulse Asia claims that DepEd has the highest net approval rating of 73 percent.
Basilio said reports from schools reveal that there are still delayed modules a week after the classes began on Oct. 5 particularly in the areas of Quezon City, Taguig, Manila and Angeles City.
In Quezon City, meanwhile, elementary schools are using diagnostic tests and working sheets because there are still no modules that were distributed, the group said.
ACT members also reported incomplete sets of modules in areas of Pasay City, Occidental Mindoro, Leyte, Bulacan, Cagayan and Tarlac. There are also instances of borrowing of modules in areas of Butuan City and Sorsogon.
In Tarlac, Basilio said there is the “Module ng anak ko, Sagot ko” program, which aims to gather donations from parents and the private sector to fill in the gaps in the printing of modules.
Basilio added that there are students who have been forced to drop out of school due to the expenses of online classes.
He added that internet or cellphone load is still needed even with the modular mode of learning as students and parents need to communicate with the teachers. He said that parents incur more expenses in distance learning as they have to shell out not only for the printing of modules but also for internet connection and the utilities.
“We are in a crisis now. This is another burden for the students and their parents,” he said.
Basilio urged the DepEd to launch an objective and comprehensive assessment of its entire learning continuity plan and immediately “work on resolving various issues hampering the safe delivery of accessible and quality education.”