I n an effort to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic, the educational sector of our country had to come up with a viable system to ensure the continued learning of the youth. With numerous factors to consider for distance learning, the blended learning modalities was implemented allowing students and teachers with the flexibility to choose the means that would be best for them.
Among these learning mediums is the modular approach. In this learning delivery, Self-Learning Modules or SLMs, are used. These are based on the most essential learning competencies or MELCs as provided by our country’s Department of Education (DepEd). Every quarter, the SLMs will be distributed by the teachers to be studied by the students as outlined in their workplans.
While it has its advantages in allowing students to work in the safety of their homes, to learn in their own pace and become self-reliant, it also raises several concerns.
One concern is the effectiveness of modular learning. That is, if students comprehend their lessons and if they are able to master the concepts expected of them. With this arrangement, a different assessment need to be used to properly gauge the level of learning of the students.
Teachers on their part, may need to be readily available for the students who require their help. Each student will be learning at different rates, and they will need to cater to each student individually. This is a counter-productive arrangement compared to the conduct of lectures. In classroom discussions, there is an exchange and sharing of ideas not only between the teacher and students, but among the students themselves.
There are also environmental concerns in the publication of modules. With over 20 million students in our country, that would demand a rather large number of modules. Other than the paper itself, production and eventual disposal of the modules will leave a substantial carbon footprint on mother nature.
Our government leaders and stakeholders of the academic sector need to look into more sustainable means of distance learning. If we work together, we can find a better solution and overcome these challenges.