Go urges DepEd to ensure quality of learning modules; challenges telcos to prioritize improving services over earning profits amid COVID-19 crisis
October 17, 2020 - Saturday 11:10 AM by MDM
Senator Christopher “Bong” Go reiterated his call to the Department of Education to ensure that students have access to proper learning materials after reported errors in self-learning modules (SLMs).
Some private schools were also reported to have reproduced their own erroneous modules, including one containing entries with double meaning.
“I am urging DepEd to work double time. Double time po dahil ang mga bata ay naantala ‘yung kanilang pag-aaral, tapos may kapalpakan pa sa module,” Go said in an interview given after an event to turnover newly acquired fire trucks and firefighting equipment at the Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo in Quezon City on Thursday, October 15.
“Pangalawa, isinumbong ko kaagad kay Pangulong Duterte ‘yung mga bastos na module... Sa may mga bastos na gumagawa, wala kayong lugar sa mundong ito. Iyung libro po ay para sa pag-aaral, hindi po para sa kabastusan. Nagkandarapa na nga po ‘yung mga kabataan sa pag-aaral hahaluan niyo pang kalokohan,” he warned.
Last October 13, Education Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction Diosdado M. San Antonio disclosed that DepEd is in the process of hiring reviewers to vet the content of their SLMs. He issued a call to the members of the public to report any errors to the department’s Public Affairs Service.
The Senator emphasized the importance of accuracy and appropriateness as students and parents alike face the challenging demands of online and hybrid learning. He also lamented that many are still struggling to obtain laptops or tablets as well as reliable internet access.
Given these issues, Go urged DepEd officials to quickly resolve the issue so time is not wasted and students can properly study using the modules as part of the blended learning approach being implemented by schools.
“Gaya ng sabi ninyo, ayaw ninyo ng may masayang na oras sa calendar year ng mga kabataan [kaya] huwag ninyo pong hayaang may maantala sa kanilang pag-aaral. Ang importante po, makapag-aral sila at tuluy-tuloy ang kanilang kaalaman at walang masayang na taon,” he said.
“Importante sa akin ‘yung kalusugan ng kabataan. Kaya ‘no vaccine, no face-to-face classes’ muna dahil wala pong peace of mind ang mga magulang pag ang mga bata ay lumalabas ng kanilang pamamahay habang wala pang vaccine,” he continued.
Meanwhile, also during the same interview, Go expressed confidence that the passage of Senate Bill No. 1844 would accelerate the roll-out of telecommunication infrastructure needed for expanding internet penetration and improving connection speeds.
Once enacted into law, the measure, co-authored by him, will give the President of the Philippines authority to expedite the processing and issuance of national and local permits, licenses and certifications in times of national emergencies.
“Dinadahilan po ng mga [telecommunications companies na] mabagal daw ‘yung permits. Mabagal daw ‘yung processing. Eight months daw, kaya ‘yung mga tower nila hindi nila natatayo kaagad. So, ngayon sabi ni Pangulo, hindi na eight months. Sixteen days na lang po sabi ng [Anti-Red Tape Authority] tapos na ‘yung proseso […] With a new law, hopefully maipasa ang bill na ito, ay wala pong dahilan na matatagalan kayo sa pagpoproseso ng inyong mga towers,” said Go.
Last July 23, the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA), Department of Information and Communications Technology, and other concerned agencies involved in the permitting process for telco towers signed Joint Memorandum Circular No. 01-2020. The special task force created by ARTA cut down the processing time from an average of eight months to sixteen days as well as reduced the number of requirements from 86 to 35.
The Senator challenged telcos to improve their services and prioritize their consumers’ needs first, especially during times of national emergencies, rather than just focusing on profits. On his part as a legislator, Go pledged to provide the necessary support to improve the quality and accessibility of the internet.
“So, the ball is in your hands right now […] I am urging telcos na bilisan ang proseso. Sa panahong ito, unahin ninyo po ang serbisyo para sa Pilipino. Ayusin ninyo ang serbisyo dahil ‘yun na po ang tulong ninyo sa panahong ito,” he said.
“Hirap ‘yung mga kabataang sabay-sabay gumagamit [ng Internet]. Kami minsan nga nasa session kami, napuputol pa ‘yung connection. Paano pa kaya yung mga bata, lalo na ‘yung nasa bundok na lumalabas pa ng bahay? Magkakahawahan na naman. Unahin ninyo ang serbisyo before anything else. Before profit, unahin ninyo ang serbisyo sa Pilipino.”
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