DepEd: Errors in educational TV episodes due to production rush

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 9) – The Education Department says errors in video lessons aired on television that are making the rounds on social media are due to the rush to produce hundreds of episodes every week.

This was after netizens posted photos of an episode of its educational show DepEd TV showing the wrong solution to a mathematical problem putting the agency under fire for the same gaffe it had earlier promised to solve.

Speaking to reporters in an online conference Thursday night, Education Undersecretary Alain Pascua admits, they produce 130 to 220 clips per week lasting at least 20 minutes long.

And it is due to this process, Pascua says, that episodes of the program will not always go error-free.

"This is not the last time that there will be errors because we are not perfect," Pascua said. He adds, "we have a workforce of 130 to less than 200 teacher-broadcasters. We are doing this everyday, naghahabol kami. (We are catching up.)"

He adds, the program was only launched last March, and had its test broadcast last August which also went viral due to the grammatical errors it contained.

RELATED: DepEd on viral lecture with grammatical errors: It's just a typo

Despite this, DepEd Director IV Abram Abanil says the error does not define the entirety of the show's episodes saying that the particular episode showing an erroneous linear mathematical equation has been corrected, with the revised version being uploaded on digital platforms.

"Out of the 56 episodes na pinalabas namin, isa lang po yung lumusot," Abanil says. "Kung titingnan mo, nasa 5 minutes lang po yung may errors. It's less than 1% of the total airtime that we have been doing our lectures."

[Translation: Out of the 56 episodes we aired, only one error slipped. If you look at it, the erroneous part was only 5 minutes. It's less than 1% of the total airtime that we have been doing our lectures.]

The agency also says it will use the end of the week to assess how many students are tuned in to the television broadcast, which is seen via state-run IBC 13.

How are DepEd TV's episodes produced?

Pascua and Abanil also showed the media several steps which show the vetting process of how its episodes go to air.

At first glance, it is similar to a producing television programs but with quality control protocols conducted by curriculum and instruction or CI Subject Experts.

These CI subject experts will review the module, which teacher-broadcasters will write a script on, based on the Education Department's style guide. The teacher-broadcaster will include relevant aids such as graphics, props, and other materials before the script is checked for presentation by the episode's executive producer.

Once the script is submitted and approved by the CI subject experts, the episode is shot and will be double-checked for graphics, spelling, and style concerns by the broadcaster and a member of the agency's Educational Technology or EdTech unit. The same script is double-checked by the executive producer alongside the teacher.

Editing of the episode is then done, and graphics are placed without visual effects. After this process, a third quality check is done by the DepEd team. Their revisions are submitted to the editor and graphics artist before it is previewed.

A final quality check by the teacher-broadcaster, EdTech staff, and the CI subject expert is done before mastering, after which a last preview will be done for additional revisions before the episode finally airs on television.

Pascua says, they are also working on improving the production aspect of the programs, after receiving complaints about the supposed lack of visuals and the way teacher-broadcasters deliver their scripts.

"'Yung training ng ating mga teacher-broadcasters, hindi natatapos yan. Tuloy-tuloy yan, we will really capacitate them hanggang sa magkaroon talaga sila ng full confidence in delivering their lessons via cameras and microphones," Pascua says.

[Translation: Training our teacher-broadcasters is ongoing. We will really capacitate them until they become fully confident in delivering lessons via cameras and microphones.]

They also reiterated their openness to criticisms and suggestions from the public in order to improve DepEd TV's episodes.

The agency also bared a plan to tap the services of television ratings providers, which Pascua says, can help them determine audience reaction to the programs.