DepEd wants to limit assignments in blended learning to avoid student burnout

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 12) - The Department of Education (DepEd) said it will again remind teachers to follow its homework policy after receiving reports of “overwhelmed” students and parents during the first week of classes.

DepEd Memorandum No. 392, which was issued in 2010, advises elementary school teachers to limit the number of assignments on weekdays and no assignments must be given on weekends.

Education officials believe that this should be followed as students are adjusting to distance learning in the middle of a pandemic.

“Kailangan yata ay mag-synchronize, meron na kami dating suggestion na yung sa homework ay hindi sabay sabay na mayroon,” Education Undersecretary Diosdado San Antonio said during a virtual press briefing on Monday.

[Translation: I think there should be synchronization, we also have a suggestion that homework should not be given simultaneously.]

San Antonio added that answering exercises in the modules are optional.

“Kahit Sabado at Linggo nagte-text pa si teacher ng dagdag na gagawin, maliban doon sa mga nakasulat doon (sa modules)," San Antonio said. "So yun po yata ang hindi dapat gawin.”

[Translation: Even on Saturday and Sunday, the teacher is texting additional tasks, aside from the ones written in the modules. I think that should not be done.]

Errors in modules

Meanwhile, the DepEd said it has received 35 reports regarding the errors spotted in printed modules used by millions of public school students with no access to internet.

San Antonio said the department is considering hiring more people to inspect modules and ensure errors are corrected before reproduction.

“Kasi po ngayon ay ano lang po ito among ourselves at overstretched na po talaga," he explained. "Hindi naman po nagdadahilan pero totoong punong-puno po ang ginagawa ng aming mga kasama."

[Translation: We are just overstretched. It’s not that we are making an excuse, but it’s true that our colleagues are overloaded with work.]

The DepEd has earlier apologized after modules filled with errors went viral online. The agency admitted that these learning materials may not be 100-percent perfect due to time constraints.

With this, DepEd has launched Error Watch which seeks "to receive and collate reports of errors" in modules and forward them to appropriate office for validation and correction.

Concerned parents, students, or teachers can report via email, text message, Facebook, and Workchat.

Nevertheless, Education Secretary Leonor Briones insisted that the opening of the pandemic school year was generally successful.