By: Jennifer S. Gonzales
Balitucan National High School
The Department of Education (DepEd) ensures the continuity of learning amidst COVID-19 pandemic through Modular Distance Learning (MDL). Learners use Self-Learning Modules (SLM) based on the Most Essential Learning Competencies (MELCS) provided by the DepEd.
Distance Learning refers to a learning delivery modality, where learning takes place between the teacher and the learners who are geographically remote from each other during instruction. In our country, the MDL is the most popular type of DL. This learning modality is currently used by all public schools because according to a survey conducted by DepEd, 8.8 million parents preferred MDL. Learning through printed modules emerged as the most preferred distance learning method of parents with children who are enrolled this academic year. This is also in consideration of the learners in rural areas where internet is not accessible for online learning.
Each SLM contains the learning competencies that should be learned by the learners. It contains an activity which aims to check what the learners already know about the lesson. It includes drill or review to help the learners link the current lessons with the previous one. There is a portion which introduces the new lesson. It also has a brief discussion of the lesson and activities for independent practice. It contains tasks to help the learners evaluate their level of mastery in achieving the learning competency. It has an activity which aims to enrich the learner’s knowledge or skill of the lesson learned. The last part contains the answers to all the activities in the module.
The use of modules encourages independent study. One of the benefits of using modules for instruction is the acquisition of better self-study or learning skills among students. Students engage themselves in learning the concepts presented in the module. They develop a sense of responsibility in accomplishing the tasks provided in the module. With little or no assistance from others, the learners progress on their own.
The teacher takes the responsibility of monitoring the progress of the learners. The learners may ask assistance from the teacher via e-mail, text message or messenger chat. Where possible, the teacher shall do home visits to learners needing remediation or assistance. The printed modules are distributed weekly to the parents or guardians by the teachers in school. Students are tasked to complete the activities and submit their outputs at the end of the week. Since education is no longer held within the school, parents serve as partners of teachers in education.
The DepEd is in the process of adapting to the new normal form of education through the MDL at present, and continuous innovations of educators and active involvement of other stakeholders are the driving force for its success.