DepEd aims to air 130 television episodes for distance learning weekly starting October 5

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

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

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SCHOOL YEAR 2020-2021

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: July 12, 2022 - 10:42am

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

July 12, 2022 - 10:42am

DepEd says School Year 2022-2023 "shall open on Monday, August 22, 2022, and shall end on July 7, 2023. It shall consist of 203 school days or as may be determined by further issuance/s in case of changes in the school calendar due to unforeseen circumstances."

April 18, 2022 - 10:11am

Sen. Nancy Binay calls on the Commission on Higher Education and the inter-agency task force on COVID-19 not to "burden" students over requirements for face-to-face classes.

Higher educations students are being required to present medical insurance and other documents before participating in face-to-face classes.

“This is a cumbersome and unnecessary requirement para sa college students, considering that by law, all Filipinos are automatic members of PhilHealth. Sa totoo lang, 'di kailangang dagdagan ang proseso, dapat nga mas simplehan pa,” Binay says.

November 12, 2021 - 9:10am

The Department of Education announces that it will increase the number of participating schools in the pilot implementation of face-to-face classes.

"The expansion of the number of pilot schools will allow a greater degree of experience among all our regions that will serve us well for the expanded phase of face-to-face classes," DepEd says.

November 10, 2021 - 6:56pm

COVID-19 immunization has started for tertiary students in Ilocos Norte as part of the massive vaccination campaign of the Commission on Higher Education. 

This in preparation for the reopening of in-person tertiary classes, CHED-Regional Office 1 said as a ceremonial vaccination of students at Mariano Marcos State University was held on Monday in collaboration with the Department of Health, Department of Interior and Local Government, the provincial government and Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center. 

About 800 students are expected to be inoculated through the CHED immunization drive. 

Prior to this, MMSU had already vaccinated 75% of its student population. — The STAR/Artemio Dumlao

September 28, 2021 - 8:13pm

President Rodrigo Duterte has authorized limited face-to-face classes for the following programs: 

  1. Engineering and Technology programs
  2. Hospitality/ Hotel and Restaurant Management
  3. Tourism/ Travel Management
  4. Marine Engineering
  5. Marine Transportation

Commission on Higher Education Chairman Popoy De Vera, who made the announcement, said the authorization applies to "degree programs that require hands-on experience in higher education institutions under Modified General Community Quarantine."

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