The Department of Education (DepEd) on Wednesday said that it will look into a learning material depicting a family of farmers living in stark poverty.

07062020 MODULE ROMERO 1 1024x683 - DepEd to look into module showing poor depiction of farmers
(JANSEN ROMERO / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

DepEd Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction Diosdado San Antonio told the Manila Bulletin that he will instruct concerned units to “validate” the said learning material to determine where it came from.

Photos of a learning module are making rounds online showing a passage on proper and common nouns. In the said passage, a photo of the family described as “The Farmer” is shown wherein the members are wearing tattered clothes.

Ma. Teresita Santillan, in a Facebook post, shared another entry made by Jenice Ramiro who saw the illustration from the module of her child who is in Grade 3.

In a now-deleted post, Ramiro wondered why the family of farmers depicted by the illustrator that way. She was upset by the poor depiction of farmers and expressed concern on the implication of the said illustration among the younger generation.

“Napakababa naman po ng pagkakalarawan nila sa magsasaka. Pano naman po natin maeengganya ang mga bagong henerasyon na magsaka kung ganyan? Nakakasakit ng loob (Their description of the farmer is very low. How can we encourage new generations to farm like that? It is very painful),” Ramiro was quoted as saying.

Santillan, who reposted Ramiro’s concern, expressed hope that the said photos would reach the “authorities” for appropriate action. In particular, she urged the DepEd, the Department of Agriculture (DAR), media and other related agencies on the matter.

“Bakit naman po ganito ang paglalarawan sa ating mga magigiting na magsasaka (Why is our noble farmers described this way?),” Santillan asked – noting that there will be no food on people’s table if it were not for the farmers.

“Hindi po pulubi ang ating magsasaka, kung wala sila wala tayong pagkain. Mararangal ang ating magsasaka. Ganito po ba natin ituturo at isasalarawan ang isang magsasaka sa ating mga kabataan? Nakakadurog po kayo ng puso (Our farmers are not beggars, without them we would not have food. Our farmers are honorable. Is this how we will teach and describe a farmer to our youth? This is heartbreaking),” Santillan added.

Meanwhile, singer Lea Salonga on Nov. 17, also shared on Facebook her dismay over a learning module saying that a tattoo is a symbol of being a criminal. “Okay, someone would need to tell me if this thing is really ok’d by the DepEd. And if so, what kind of BS is this?” she asked.

San Antonio said that the answer key was wrong and that “we have already issued an erratum” on this. No additional details were given.

DepEd has been heavily criticized for a number of error-filled modules spotted by netizens since the school year under the distance learning set-up started. In many instances, DepEd has disowned the modules found with errors noting that these were not quality-assured by the Central Office.

Just last week, photos of a learning material calling actress Angel Locsin “obese” went viral. DepEd has apologized for this and withdrew the “summative test” containing the item.

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