By Chito A. Chavez
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Tuesday has directed the local government units (LGUs) to provide assistance to the public schools in their respective turfs as the localized Basic Education Learning Plan (BE-LCP) will soon be adopted by the Department of Education (DepEd).
DILG Undersecretary and spokesperson Jonathan Malaya also noted that the LGUs must support the Special Education Fund (SEF) to boost the BE-LCP.
He added that the local chief executives should immediately convene their respective local school boards (LSB) to discuss which of the new learning modalities identified by the DepEd can be utilized in their respective areas and provide the necessary support to their teachers and learners.
“To do this, LGUs must convene and activate their local school boards (LSB) para sa agarang alokasyon ng pondong ito,” Malaya said.
He also urged all LGUs to assist in the enrollment activities such as the provision of kiosk or center in the barangay for the distribution and collection of enrolment forms of learners in public schools in their respective areas; and assist schools under their jurisdiction in the delivery and collection of printed modules from the homes of the students.
Under the Local Government Code, the LSB is a body created on the provincial, city and municipal levels that determines the supplementary budgetary allocation the LGU can provide for the operation and maintenance of public schools nationwide, among others.
Malaya added that the LSB’s function in providing support to public schools will be a big help in the implementation of the BE-LCP this school year which “will be more challenging in comparison to the previous ones.” “We may have a lot on our plate nowadays pero hindi natin kailanman dapat kalimutan ang edukasyon ng ating mga kabataan,” he added.
Through DILG Memorandum Circular 2020-096, DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año encouraged all LCEs to immediately convene their respective LSBs to determine and allocate supplementary budget needs, such as the SEF, for the localized implementation of BE-LCP.
Section 272 of the Local Government Code states that “The proceeds from the additional one percent (1%) tax on real property accruing to the SEF shall be automatically released to the LSBs.”
“Less than two months na lang pasukan na so this early, kailangan ng magconvene ang LSBs so they can provide assistance to the learners and their families, teaching and non-teaching personnel of the Department of Education (DepEd) in public elementary and secondary schools, alternative learning centers and DepEd offices nationwide,” Año said.
The LSBs must also advise the Sanggunian Committee on Education on matters of local appropriations for educational purposes, and discuss the learning modality deemed appropriate in the context of local conditions and consistent with IATF-MEID guidelines and how to prepare teachers and school leaders’ delivery modalities.
LGU support for BE-LCP
In a previous statement, Año encouraged LGUs to be able partners in the implementation of Oplan Balik Eskwela and BE-LCP and “to be more creative in assisting schools and students as they immerse in a new learning environment” under a new normal.
“In aid of the 2020 Brigada Eskwela and OBE programs, I enjoin all LGUs and all barangays to assist the schools within your jurisdictions to adjust to the new learning modalities,” he added.
The DILG chief revealed that the LGUs must also consider providing or donating learning resources to public schools, teachers, and students such as laptops, desktops, tablet PCs, tablets, smartphones, internet services “to help in ensuring that quality education will still be attained despite the challenges posed by the current COVID-19 crisis.”
He reiterated that the learning resources must be compliant with the minimum specifications for ICT equipment and internet service set by DepEd which was provided in a memorandum also released by the DILG on June 11, 2020.