DepEd aims to air 130 television episodes for distance learning weekly starting October 5
In this August 15, 2020, photo, a student participates in the Department of Education's test airing of tv episodes for distance learning.
Released/Department of Education
DepEd aims to air 130 television episodes for distance learning weekly starting October 5
( - September 16, 2020 - 1:12pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Education is looking to air over a hundred episodes weekly for the television modality of distance learning once classes open next month. 

DepEd Director Abram Abanil on Wednesday bared this plan to the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture as the agency updated the upper chamber on the status of preparations for the opening of classes. 

"By October 5, the target is to be able to produce 130 episodes per week. [These] 130 episodes cover only the major subject areas under the most essential learning competencies," Abanil said. 

"There are supposed to be 220 subject areas but as of the moment, we are unable to produce 220 [episodes] so we are targeting only for the major subject areas this coming October 5," he added partially in Filipino. 

However, Abanil said the department is aiming to produce 220 episodes per week by January next year, which would include the dubbing of K to 3 subject areas into local languages. 

Once classes open, Abanil said DepEd will be airing 20-minute-long episodes with five-minute breaks in between from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

Pictured below is a week-long program grid which was presented by Abanil to the senators: 

According to Abanil, episodes highlighted in yellow are unique while those highlighted in red are replays. 

The education official added that Filipino sign language is "already incorporated in the 130 episodes." 

Partner channels

However, Abanil revealed that DepEd is still finalizing its memorandums of agreement with its partner channels which he said will hopefully be done by next week. 

"For the short term, in October 5, what we plan to do, since we cannot maximize yet all of these tv channels is that we will be airing the program grid in different schedules," he said. 

The DepEd director also presented a list of partner channels to senators which is pictured below: 

"In January, we believe that we will be maximizing all of these channels, just to air all the episodes will require at least two channels without replays, and then with K to 12 localized languages, of having 19 different languages, we're pretty sure we will be needing all the channels being provided here," Abanil said. 

Two weeks before classes open

In the meantime, DepEd will be airing episodes next week "to practice again the logistics behind of getting all the episodes ingested into the tv stations." 

"We don't want to make a repeat again of mistakes that happened on August 11 so we'd like to practice again on September 21 so that on October 5 we will be ready," Abanil told the Senate. 

DepEd held a test run of tv episodes for distance learning from August 11 until August 18 which was plagued by criticism after social media users pointed out grammatical and typographical errors in a multiple-choice question included in an English lesson. 

Education Undersecretary Diosdado San Antonio added that DepEd is also aiming to air episodes in the week prior to October 5 "that will essentially provide for psychological first aid." 

San Antonio said these episodes will simultaneously orient viewers on the aspects of the multiple distance learning modalities. 

Abanil revealed that DepEd is also producing radio episodes for distance learning but is still in the process of building up production. Given this, he said the agency already has a contingency plan in place to safeguard against delays. 

"What we intend to do for radio, given the time schedules that we have, the first thing we will do is that all the video lectures we will be converting them to mp3 formats so that if we don't produce content for radio production fast enough, at least we have the audio component from the video productions," he said in a mix of English and Filipino. 

Abanil further lauded the current state of the department's video production which has 107 teacher broadcasters and five studios in the Central Office. 

"There are also 18 public schools which have been identified for offsite shooting," he said, adding that two of these are already shooting episodes. 

"We have correspondingly mobilized about 72 production staff. This includes producers, illustrators, videographers, and even composers, who will support this 107 teacher broadcasters in producing episodes," Abanil further said. 

In addition to this, the agency expects that its pool of teacher broadcasters will increase to 198 in the next two weeks after it trains a third batch of teachers for broadcasting. 

With a little over two weeks remaining until the opening of classes, DepEd's latest update shows that 20% of tv episodes, and 13% of radio episodes, for the first week of classes have been recorded. 

— Bella Perez-Rubio

SCHOOL YEAR 2020-2021
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LATEST UPDATE: October 1, 2020 - 3:18pm

Follow this thread for updates on when classes will resume, and how those classes will be conducted.

Photo: Students wearing protective face masks have their temperatures taken while entering their college campus in Manila on January 31, 2020. AFP/Ted Aljibe

October 1, 2020 - 3:18pm

A group of teachers urges the Department of Education to rather hire at least "150,000 teachers with own teaching load and not teaching aides to enable either the lowering to five teaching load rather than six or the reduction of class size to 40 instead of 50."

“The shift to remote learning and the lack of ample state support for such has more than doubled the workload—not to mention the expenses—of already overworked public school teachers," says ACT Secretary General Raymond Basilio says.

"This will likely result in further decline of education quality and burn out among our educators. In that note, we find it necessary for the government to ease teachers’ workload by hiring more teaching personnel,” he adds.  

September 25, 2020 - 2:58pm

A group of teachers calls for a "pandemic-responsive" education budget.

"By the group’s modest estimates, DepEd will need P126.9 billion to ensure the minimum requisites for safe, accessible, and quality education," the Alliance of Concerned Teachers Philippines says.

"The proposal only amounts to a meager 3.1% of the P4.1 trillion 2021 National Expenditure Program (NEP) but will ensure the welfare and rights of at least 22 million students and 900,000 public school teachers," it adds.

September 18, 2020 - 2:11pm

A group of teachers says it welcomes plan of the Department of Education not to administer periodical examinations for the coming academic year.

But the Alliance of Concerned Teachers says the decision "should not be grounded on cheating and dishonesty concerns."

"The decision to forego periodical exams is a positive step towards addressing these ever-relevant matters concerning the education system. Next step should be to sincerely look into a pass-or-fail evaluation system and find its merits, again based on education’s ultimate aims,” says ACT national spokesperson Benjamin Valbuena.

September 4, 2020 - 2:47pm

The Department of Education-National Capital Region says it will continue to roll out its initiatives to further prepare public schools in Metro Manila for the opening of classes next month.

DepEd NCR Director Malcolm Garma reports that 14 out of 16 Schools Division Offices have already completed the simulation of the delivery of modules and conduct of classes.

August 27, 2020 - 1:05pm

A group of teachers slams the government for denying the P65-billion supplemental budget request of DepEd for its learning continuity plan.

“Education continuity cannot be further hampered by this state’s withholding and misprioritization of the people’s money. We call on officials and legislators to ensure the fulfillment of the state’s education mandate starting with allotting sufficient resources for such,” Alliance of Concerned Teachers Secretary General Raymond Basilio says.

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