The online news portal of TV5
MANILA, Philippines -- Home is the new classroom for some students under the home study program of the Department of Education (DepEd) now being tried in at least six overcrowded schools in Quezon City.
Two lawmakers, however, questioned if the program will work and will not just make slackers out of students who need more than the prodding of teachers to pursue learning.
The home study program is one of the alternatives recommended by the DepEd to help ease the need for space and resources in schools, particularly in urban centers.
Kabataan partylist Representative Raymond Palatino said that the program is originally designed for students with special needs, but is now expanded to include repeaters.
Under the program, students will be given modules patterned after the regular curriculum that they can study at home. They will meet their teacher only on Saturdays. Just like any regular students, they would graduate with a school diploma.
Palatino is wary that this could even make the students lose interest in their studies. He also said that the right environment should be present at home to aid the students.
“What if both parents are working, who will assist the students at home? What if the students do not have computers or Internet connection at home, how will they do their research? It’s an innovation not to improve the quality of education, but to cope up with the lack of resources,” Palatino said.
ACT Teachers partylist Representative Antonio Tinio sees the program as a “band aid solution” to the shortage of classroom and textbooks and lack of teachers, especially in public schools.
Palatino said the home study program covers about 20 percent of the student population in the six Quezon City schools. An earlier report quoting DepEd identified the schools as Batasan Hills National High School, Commonwealth High School, Holy Spirit National High School, Doña Rosario High School, North Fairview High School, and Judge Feliciano Belmonte Sr. High School.
Quezon City is Metro Manila’s largest school division, with at least 500,000 students enrolled in public schools every year.
Palatino said he visited the Batasan Hills, Payatas-B, and Payatas-C Elementary Schools at the opening of classes Monday and observed less chaos compared to last year’s. He said this could be in part due to the home study program, but said that its results have yet to be seen.