PART of the sustainable development goals (SDG) in education set by the United Nations (UN) is the achievement of quality education among the youth, especially in developing and under developed countries. The Philippines belongs to the former. Quality education is unattainable unless we address all aspects of concerns in the education sector. Glaring among these concerns are the lack of school buildings and learning resources.
The Australia Aid (AusAid) assisted the Department of Education in developing a system that deals with learning resource concerns. And so the Learning Resource Development and Management System (LRMDS) was created. The LRMDS is tasked to solve or lessen the problem on the lack of learning resources particularly in schools and learning institutions located in far-flung areas by providing learning resources developed by teachers and other concerned employees of DepEd.
We are lucky in Baguio for being an urban area. If learning resources are provided by the DepEd central office, schools in the cities are mostly the first recipients. We hardly feel the sentiments of other schools without sufficient textbooks. Until now, I read critical comments in social media posts from teachers who have to spend their own money in making learning resources due to the absence or lack of it. But even some schools located in the cities have problems on the lack/or absence of learning resources. How much more with schools located in remote localities.
Learning resources include textbooks, supplementary books, activity sheets, learner's material, modules, strategic intervention materials (SIMs), storybooks (big and small books), readers, workbooks, educational audios, interactive learning resources, educational videos, presentation, programs / application software (Apps), tactile learning resources, Mathematics equipment, Science Equipment, TLE / TVL Equipment, manipulative and artifacts. When we were in elementary grades, we have our textbook as our primary resource and other posters which our teachers developed. I didn't know then that there we re other kinds of learning resources. Studies say learning resource affects the academic performance of the learners.
The target ratio for textbook and students is 1:1. Every learner pupil/student should have at least one textbook for each of his/her subject to satisfy the goal of DepEd regarding learning resource. But let us wake ourselves and go back to reality. This ratio is possible but not now, not for the next couple of years. This is not me being pessimistic.
The Learning Resource Management Office (LRMO) is mandated to fill the gap on the lack of learning resources by encouraging teachers to develop these resources. These resources are quality assured and published to the LRMDS portal for all teaching personnel in the country to access and use. The portal is centralized so all uploaded learning resources regardless of the originating region can be accessed by all for free. The goal is ideal but we are still far in achieving this. DepEd Tambayan is still beating the LRMDS portal in terms of visitors. There are lots of work to do and we are happy to contribute.
The LRMO Baguio conducted a Division Training-workshop on Quality Assurance Tools in the beginning of this week to capacitate Learning Resource (LR) coordinators and head teachers in the division to assess learning resources. These resources are published in the DepEd portal and the LRMO needs to ensure that these resources are of quality. Workshops like this are needed for teacher-developers and evaluators to be clear of the goal on providing sufficient resources for quality education.
This is challenging and asking on the part of teachers mainly because it is not supposed to be part of their job. It is not part of the job description anyway but I understand with our country like ours we have more jobs to do than teachers in first-world countries. On the other hand there is advantage in developing learning resource by teachers. Learning resources are contextualized (localized and/or indigenized) when teachers develop/write it. Contents of learning resources are more comprehensive and experienced-based.
The end goal is to achieve quality education. This is the goal not only of the United Nation but more so of the country. The LRMDS is trying to do its part by lessening the problem on the absence or lack of learning resources. The office relies on the participation of the teaching sector of DepEd and the support of DepEd administration to fulfill its mandate.