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‘Worst learning material’ prepared for Grade 8 schoolers

/ 09:18 PM July 26, 2013

A great divide, wide as an unpacific ocean, separates what is said and what is done, what is promised and what is delivered. In education, that which is promised but not delivered, that which is missing, is quality.

I have just finished reviewing the 582-page learning material or textbook titled “Voyages in Communication,” written by 14 authors, reviewed by four reviewers, and published by the Department of Education itself, for the use of Grade 8 students of all public secondary schools. I have recorded a total of 1,836 defects, deficiencies, infirmities and errors. It is hands down the worst “learning material” I have seen in my entire career, what the Tagalog call “ginawa  ng  paa” (made by the feet). It was written with no concern, no consideration and no respect whatsoever for the end-users, the learners who should by rights be learning.

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Edwin Uy, DepEd program coordinator, said in an interview: “The DepEd might have missed out on certain things in the distributed materials and this is why it opened its lines for feedback and comments from the field. The collated reports on glaring mistakes would be verified and advisories would be sent out all around. The learning resources should get better through the years.” And true enough: this process could take years and years, maybe never. Public school students who will be compelled by dire circumstances to use this book would have been, by the final reckoning, experimented upon and idiotized by design. Shouldn’t the learning materials be made absolutely correct from the very start?

The irony is that it is I, limited in everything—education, resources and now time—who should be the one to tell the emperor he has no clothes! It breaks my heart to realize, now in the evening of my life, that my advocacy had not chipped even one fang of the monster that is the Defective Textbook; that a bureaucracy as abundantly and profusely blessed in everything—money, grants, funding, resources, and a vast army of hired and paid personnel—as the DepEd is, cannot come up with one sensible textbook. Before me stands another monster, this time leering and showing all of its 1,836 fangs!

I hope the book has not yet been printed, or, if it has, not to the extent of a monumental wastage of our scant resources. The errors of which I speak need to be seen to be believed and I am ready to show this magnum opus of the DepEd for what it really is: a major error and a big mistake. A “learning” material fit for use only in a monster university.

The DepEd completely ignored the two articles (News, 6/10/13) and one letter to the editor (Opinion, 6/25/13) that mentioned the presence of numerous errors in two “learning” materials presently used by the Grade 7 and Grade 8 students of all public secondary schools. So people are asking why I persist in my advocacy when nobody seems to care. I’ve only one answer. Because it is the right thing to do. And because it is, I will continue to do it to my dying days.

—ANTONIO CALIPJO GO,

academic supervisor,

Marian School of Quezon City,

Novaliches, Quezon City

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TAGS: education, learning materials, letters, quality
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