"Bear in mind that the wonderful things you learn in your schools are the work of many generations, produced by enthusiastic effort and infinite labor in every country of the world. All this is put into your hands as your inheritance in order that you may receive it, honor it, add to it, and one day faithfully hand it to your children. Thus do we mortals achieve immortality in the permanent things which we create in common." - Albert Einstein

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

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Everyone Already Knows - There Is No Need to Report Anything


by Joy Rizal


We are now well into 2015 and at this point our children have received the following text books.


English:   NOTHING FOR STUDENT USE
Science:   NOTHING FOR STUDENT USE
Araling Panlipunan(Social Studies):   NOTHING FOR STUDENT USE
Mathematics: received paperback book week before Christmas break.
Mother tongue: received paperback book week before Christmas break.
Filipino: received paperback book at end of November.
Mapeh:  received paperback book at the end of November.
Edukasyong Pagpapakatao (character education): received paperback book at end of November.

Interestingly, according to some statements made by local DepEd officials, as long as the books are received at anytime during the school year the delivery apparently counts as having been received for the students to use for the whole school year. So even though the books were only delivered at the end of the third quarter, or even at the end of the forth quarter, as far as DepEd is apparently concerned, the students have had all the material to study for the entire school year.

But let us back up to a statement made by Mateo back in June 2014 at the beginning of the school year:
"The learning materials that we provide the schools are now in digital format. We install the learning materials in the DepEd portal so the schools with access to the Internet can download them," Mateo said. The computerization program is part of the DepEd’s regular budget.
Over the holidays we were given the opportunity to listen to a recording between some parents and DepEd officials that took place earlier in the school year regarding the digitized learning material.

This set of parents were trying to be helpful but then became very frustrated with the system and the 'honesty' of DepEd employees.

Since there were obviously no text books available, this set of parents had a reasonable idea, since most people have mobile phones, most of which can display ebooks or text files (if the files are in the proper format), the parent was wanting to get the digital copy of the students learning modules and convert them so that the files could be viewed on most portable phones. Not the best solution and obviously would not work on all phones, but considering the students had nothing to review at home, or anywhere else, it seemed like something that would be useful. (and would not cost much other than a time to implement.)

So after looking through the DepEd portal and finding nothing, the parents set up a meeting with some DepEd officials in their region to try to get access to the material.

One of the many parts of the meeting that we found very interesting was the section regarding the exact location of the student’s learners modules that the students are suppose to be using in the classroom.

We have translated the conversation to English. Also note, as requested by the parents, we are not going to include any names, since the recording of the meeting is questionably legal, even though it was mentioned that the meeting was being recorded (it is not clear if the officials comprehended what had been stated).

We are starting this transcript of the conversation after other pleasantries and general conversations have been exchanged. The parents are now wanting to know the online location of the student learners modules (LMs) that are suppose to be used in the classroom.

Parent: So where did you say the exact location of the LMs are online?

DepEd: They are on the DepEd portal.

Parent: Where exactly on the portal?

DepEd: Under the appropriate grade level.

Parent: (pulling out a phone with internet capability) Here is the DepEd portal that we have access to, could you please show me where the Student LMs that are being used in the classes are located? I have not been able to locate them on the site.

DepEd: (stuttering for a moment) Um, the LMs are not actually online, the only thing on the site is supplemental learning material for the courses.

Parent: Do you have a copy of the LMs that we can copy?

DepEd: (pause) No, the only files we were given are the TMs (Teacher's Modules) for the courses.

Parent: (obviously frustrated) So why did you say that the LMs are available online when obviously they are not and apparently are not available anywhere?

DepEd: (answer muttered not understandable)

Parent: Have you reported the fact that you do not have the copies of the material?

DepEd: Report it?

Parent: If you are not receiving material especially material that costs nothing (or very little) to distribute, why are you not reporting that you have not received it and request that the material be reposted online, emailed to you, or something?

DepEd: There is no need.

Parent: You do not have this nor many other things, which you mentioned earlier, that the schools are suppose to have already received for this school year. Why is there no need to report the fact that you have not received the materials?

DepEd: Everyone already knows we do not have it; there is no need to report it.

Parent: But if you do not report it or at least fill out the forms indicating that you do not have the materials the people that could help ensure you receive the items, cannot do anything to help.

DepEd: They already know, if they wanted to do anything they would.

Parent: There are several groups that could possibility help make sure items, funding and so on reach their intended destination, but the issues have to be officially reported.

DepEd: (pause) Well maybe you can help.

Parent: How can we help?

DepEd: There are several other things our classrooms need; perhaps you could help with those?

Parent: Sorry, but if you will even try to report basic items that have been promised to the schools that are missing or not being delivered, there is nothing I can do to help in other areas.

-

They talked about a few other things and ended the meeting.

This leaves us with several questions. Most we have been asking for years, but also creates many other questions and serious concerns that I am not going to discuss within this article.

If the alleged online material is not online and apparently not available to the schools (at least at the time of that meeting) why did so many say that everything was available, until left with only two options show the material online or admit it is not there?

One can say there are a lot of funding issues, however this distribution method placing a file online or even emailing a copy of the material to the various schools, costs very little. What could be the reason for the electronic copies of the student LMs or PDF copies of the textbooks not being available, even to the schools? Could it be that the materials had not been completed, even after having several years to prepare the material for this school year?

Could this explain why DepEd had "no data available" to answer the Senator's questions earlier this school year? Most people do find it difficult to collect data showing what has been accomplished, when nothing or very little been done.

It is so sad, with a Department that claims to have a high standard of honesty, transparency and is looking out for the best interest of our children, in order to get a truly honest and complete answer to even the simplest of questions, we have to constantly ‘play 20 questions’ in the hopes of gathering enough information to discover what is really happening.

DepEd, the people of our nation deserve better. Our children deserve better.


My comment:

I just looked at the DepEd portal and the following are screen captures as I try to navigate and look for science materials for third grade. Here is the home page:

Retrieved on 14 January 2015, 11:00 am EST

There are several items under Science 3:

Retrieved on 14 January 2015, 11:00 am EST
Joy Rizal is correct, the learning materials are not online. Only a small number of supplemental materials is listed. And if one clicks on Energy Conservation (one of the few in the above list), the following is the result:

Retrieved on 14 January 2015, 11:00 am EST

So here it goes, this blog is reporting that learning materials are currently not available online, contrary to what DepEd undersecretary Mateo claims at the beginning of this school year.




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