Gatchalian seeks accountability for vulgar learning module

Robie de Guzman   •   June 17, 2021   •   868

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Sherwin Gatchalian wants those involved in the creation and clearance of a self-learning module that includes an obscene word to be held accountable.

Gatchalian, who chairs the Senate committee on basic education, arts, and culture, was referring to a now recalled module that was recently flagged for containing a vulgar description of a mythical creature “aswang” which means sexual intercourse when translated to the English language.

The senator said that since the meaning of the word is clear and obviously not appropriate for young learners, he suspects that the inclusion of the word in the material was “intentional.”

What’s worse for Gatchalian, however, is how these materials still get through DepEd’s quality assurance process.

“Obviously the system failed. And we also need to investigate this matter and hold the quality assurance mechanism or those people who are implementing the quality assurance to account. But more importantly, look for that person who wrote that,” Gatchalian said in a statement.

DepEd Undersecretary Diosdado San Antonio earlier said that the module was recalled last February and already rectified by the division office concerned. Based on the DepEd data, the module was used by Grade 10 students in Pampanga for the second quarter.

According to DepEd, 155 errors were found in learning materials from October 2020 to June 2021, of which 104 were from locally developed materials, 25 were reviewed by DepEd’s Central Office, 19 were from unknown sources, five from DepEd TV, one from a privately-developed material, and one from a DepEd textbook.

Gatchalian said he will look into DepEd’s quality assurance process in the upcoming Senate inquiry on the preparations for School Year 2021-2022.

Senate Resolution No. 739, which Gatchalian filed, aims to assess the capacity of basic education institutions to deliver quality education for next school year, whether through face-to-face classes or distance learning.

COVID-19 vax requirement for teachers handling in-person classes not discriminatory – DepEd

Robie de Guzman   •   January 20, 2022

The Department of Education (DepEd) on Thursday said its policy requiring teachers and non-teaching personnel involved in the pilot run of limited face-to-face classes to get vaccinated against COVID-19 is not discriminatory.

In a statement, the DepEd reiterated its earlier statement that the policy is being implemented as a way of protecting students and personnel, as well as preventing the spread of COVID-19 in schools.

“The said policy does not and is not intended to unjustly discriminate against any DepEd employee who chooses not to be vaccinated,” the department said.

The DepEd said employees who are not vaccinated are “treated fairly” as they are still obliged to render work and receive compensation based on applicable alternative work arrangements.

The department also said it does not terminate employees on the sole ground of being unvaccinated.

It added that the policy is consistent with the government’s resolutions as well as Civil Service rules and regulations.

“This policy, particularly the requirement for teachers, with non-teaching personnel, handling face-to-face classes and performing in-school functions/tasks to be vaccinated, has been approved by the Office of the President,” the DepEd said.

“This is also in line with the Inter Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) Resolution Nos. 148B and 149 s. 2021, on the requirement for vaccination or negative RT-PCR result or antigen test result (if RT-PCR capacity is insufficient) for employees working on-site, in areas that have sufficient supply of vaccines as determined by the National Vaccines Operation Center,” it added.

The pilot in-person classes was implemented by DepEd in select schools in the country last year.

About 278 schools with over 15,000 students from Grades 1 to 3 and senior high school participated in the pilot run.

The DepEd earlier recommended the “progressive expansion” of face-to-face classes in areas under COVID-19 Alert Levels 1 and 2, which means that only select schools in areas classified as low-risk for COVID-19 will be allowed to resume classes.

The agency is eyeing to start the progressive expansion of limited classes in February.

DepEd eyes expansion of in-person classes by February

Robie de Guzman   •   January 18, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Education (DepEd) has recommended the “progressive expansion” of face-to-face classes in areas under COVID-19 Alert Levels 1 and 2 starting next month.

During a pre-taped meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte aired on Monday night, Education Secretary Leonor Briones explained that the expansion of the pilot physical classes will be progressive, which means that only select schools in areas classified as low-risk for COVID-19 will be allowed to resume classes.

“Hindi ‘yung lahat-lahat sabay-sabay. Kung ang isang lugar ay Alert Level 1 and 2, selective, puwedeng mag-expand ng face-to-face,” Briones said.

The DepEd chief said the expansion of face-to-face classes will start in February, with the concurrence of the local government units (LGU) and parents’ consent.

“Iyong framework ng shared responsibility, patuloy. Iyong pag-concur ng LGUs, alam na alam namin ito, conscious kami at saka parents’ consent, requirement pa rin, Mr. President. Hindi kami mag-e-expand ng basta-basta na hindi kami mangangatok sa local governments at saka hindi namin makuha iyong written consent ng mga parents,” Briones said in her report to the president.

“Iyon ang aming proposal, Mr. President. February ang pag-e-expand pero maingat pa rin, taking into consideration the advice of the Department of Health, the LGUs, as well as now the Department of Justice,” she added.

Briones reiterated that only fully vaccinated teachers and non-teaching personnel will be allowed to join the face-to-face classes. Participation of vaccinated students will also be preferred.

“Ang sabi namin, only vaccinated teachers and non-teaching personnel na vaccinated will participate kung tayo ay mag-implement ng faceto-face. At saka ‘yung participation ng vaccinated students, kasi in-announce na ni (vaccine czar) Secretary (Carlito) Galvez na by March, by April, mag-umpisa na tayo sa mga bata, iyon preferred natin ‘yun. So iyon ang aming proposal, Mr. President,” she said.

Briones said 278 schools with about 15,000 students participated in the pilot implementation of face-to-face classes last year.

Around 28 schools from Metro Manila joined the program last December but its resumption was suspended earlier this January due to the increase in COVID-19 cases in the region.

Other regions with high coronavirus infections also suspended limited in-person classes but classes in areas under COVID-19 Alert Level 2 have continued.

The DepEd earlier allowed schools and local education offices to suspend classes for up to two weeks over rising COVID-19 cases.

DepEd NCR nagdeklara ng health break mula Enero 15 to 22

Robie de Guzman   •   January 14, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – Nagdeklara ng academic health break ang regional office ng Department of Education (DepEd) para sa National Capital Region (NCR) sa gitna ng dumaraming bilang ng mga nagkakasakit dahil sa COVID-19.

Sa inilabas na memorandum order, sinabi ng DepEd-NCR na suspindido muna ang klase sa lahat ng antas sa basic education mula Eneroi 15 hanggang 22.

Muling babalik ang klase sa Enero 24 hanggang 29 pero limitado lang muna ito sa distance learning modalities gaya ng online schooling, module at DepEd TV.

Hindi rin required ang pisikal na pagpasok sa paaralan ng mga guro.

Gayunman, dapat gamitin na lang ng mga estudyante at guro ang kanilang midyear break mula Enero 31 hanggang Pebrero 5 para sa makeup clasess upang mabawi ang mga backlog sa aralin.

Nakatakda naman ang second quarter examinations para sa Pebrero 7 at 8.

Una nang binigyan ng kapangyarihan ng DepEd ang regional at school division offices na magdesisyon ukol sa suspensyon ng klase bunsod ng tumataas na kaso ng COVID-19.

“kung ang pagtataya ng ating Local Officials Regional Director Level or Division or even at the School Level ay kailangan magsuspinde ng klase o ng if not the full class ay learning activities then we are authorizing maximum of two weeks at a time subject to reporting at kung mas mahaba pa dun ay kailangang ikonsulta sa amin kung maaring pahintulutan ito,” ani DepEd Undersecretary Noel Nepomuceno.

Samantala, nasa diskresyon naman ng mga pribadong paaralan kung kailan sila magsususpinde ng klase.

Maliban sa NCR, nagdeklara na rin ng class suspension ang DepEd CALABARZON mula Enero 17 hanggang 29.

Ang pamahalaan naman ng Antipolo City sa Rizal ay nagdeklara rin ng health break sa kaparehong petsa.

Nauna nang nagdeklara ng health break ang pamahalaang lungsod ng Maynila simula ngayong Biyernes, Enero 14 hanggang 21.

Layunin ng deklarasyon na mabigyan ng pagkakataon ang mga guro at mag-aaral na makapagpahinga, lalo na ang mga may karamdaman. (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Joan Nano)

 

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