The Department of Education (DepEd) will be conducting an investigation on a learning module which reportedly depicted farmers as poor.
The module in question has been making the rounds on the Internet after a netizen shared a photo of an illustration from the said module featuring a family of farmers wearing ripped and patched clothes.
Netizens took to social media to air their reactions to the viral photo, a mixture of shock and anger.
“Huwag niyo minamaliit mga magsasaka natin,” said one user. “Hindi niyo alam ang hirap na ginagawa nila para mag-grow ng pagkain natin.”
(“Do not belittle our farmers. You do not know the hardships they go through just to grow our food.”)
“Kahit sa illustration lang, sana binigyan ng dignidad ang mga farmers natin,” said another user.
(“They could have given more dignity to our farmers even from the illustration alone.”)
Senators discussed the viral module along with other reported incorrect or offensive content reported in learning materials.
Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan remarked, “We understand the vast majority of our farmers are poor, but to stereotype them, parang ano ang magiging mensahe sa ating kabataan? Na hindi katanggap-tanggap ang pagiging magsasaka?”
(“We understand the vast majority of our farmers are poor, but to stereotype them, what is the message that we are giving to our youth? That it is not acceptable to be a farmer?”)
DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones has since said that the education bureau has a zero-tolerance policy against discrimination.
During a Senate briefing, Senator Pia Cayetano also shared that while the module has already been distributed, DepEd will be releasing an explanation on the issue. Cayetano also emphasized that sanctions would be imposed on those found responsible for the material.
This is not the first time that DepEd has received the ire of netizens for faulty, stereotypical, or inappropriate content. It was earlier criticized after a self-learning module for teachers included dirty names, and also when DepEd TV aired material showing an incorrect solution to a math problem.
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