The Department of Education (DepEd)'s division office in Manila ordered to retrieve physical copies from students, as well as delete copies online, of a now-viral self-learning module (SLM) printed in 2020 that appears to negatively portray Vice President Leni Robredo.
In a statement on April 8, DepEd said the SLM in question was validated to have come from the Schools Division Office (SDO) of Manila. The agency added that it also referred the matter to its executive committee members in charge of field operations as well as curriculum and instruction.
In a separate statement, the SDO admitted to not having conducted a "conformance review" on the module "as it should."
It said it immediately identified the SLM's writer to "explain the motivation regarding the cited text," however, the person responsible has passed away due to COVID-19 in 2020.
"Furthermore, the unit and persons involved are now under thorough review and retooling," the DepEd division said, adding that it will employ more quality control and assurance "during the review and revision process."
"We sincerely apologize for any harm or inconvenience that this may have caused individuals or groups. This is definitely not the intent of the very purpose of the publication of such material," it said.
The presidential bet Robredo, meanwhile, called out the agency for its "inefficiency" to allow publication of modules that "poison the minds" of students.
Earlier in the day, Robredo told reporters who covered her campaign trail in Pangasinan that it's DepEd's responsibility to make sure that such contents that "poison the minds" of people do not see the light of day.
"Dapat hindi iyon pinapalusot ng DepEd," Robredo said. "Kasi pagpapakita lang, kung totoong nakalusot ito sa Grade 11 na mga modules, na napaka-inefficient ng DepEd."
In November 2020, DepEd also drew flak for its SLM that "body-shamed" actress Angel Locsin, calling her an "obese person" who loves to eat fatty and sweet food and always watches television without any physical activity.
There had also been a total of 155 errors found in DepEd's learning materials from October 2020 to June 2021, based on a Senate hearing in June that year. Errors included the usage of a Filipino vulgar word.