Following the “failure” of the Department of Education (DepEd) to deliver its promise of providing modules to students nationwide, a teachers’ group renewed its call for an independent audit of the agency’s expenditure on the production of the modules.
“Alam naman natin na magastos at hindi epektibo ang paggamit ng modules pero sapagkat itinuloy pa rin ito ng DepEd ay nakiisa ang mga guro, marami sa amin ay gumawa ng paraan para lamang matiyak na walang batang maiiwan (We know that the use of modules is costly and ineffective but because DepEd is still pursuing it, the teachers continues to support it, many of us have taken steps to ensure that no child is left behind,” said Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) Chairman Benjo Basas.
TDC, a 30,000-strong group, said that based on its own monitoring, some teacher-members reported that the distribution of modules has been “limited” since the First Quarter of the current school year.
“Sa second quarter, lalo pa itong lumala nitong third at fourth quarter kung saan halos mga soft copy lamang ang ibinigay ng DepEd (In the second quarter, it got worse in the third and fourth quarters where DepEd provided almost only soft copies),” TDC said.
TDC has recommended earlier on the use of books to help cut down the expenses for the printing of modules distributed to students under the distance learning set-up.
DepEd, the group said, has allocated at least P10 billion for the modules used by students for School Year (SY) 2021-2022.
“Noong una pa man ay nananawagan na kami na magkaroon ng independent audit upang malaman kung saan napunta at paano ginastos ang nasa sampung bilyong pisong inilaan sa modules pa lamang (We have always called for an independent audit to find out where it went and how the P10 billion pesos allocated for the modules alone was spent),” Basas said.
Basas noted that this is important because a large part of the cost of producing modules used by the students came from the local government units (LGUs), donations from the private sector or donated by the “teachers themselves to ensure that their students would be able to continue learning.”
Meanwhile, TDC also called out DepEd on the errors found not only in the modules but also in the videos released by the agency – particularly in the episodes shown over DepEd TV.
Basas said that even before the implementation of distance learning started, the learning materials for DepEd of has been riddled with errors – from modules to videos.
“The school year is about to end but these are not yet addressed by DepEd,” Basas said in a mix of English and Filipino. “Worse, the DepEd leadership never consulted its teachers and would dismiss our valid concerns as mere criticism or even bashing,” he added.
During a Committee hearing early this week, DepEd confirmed that there are 155 errors found in its learning materials since classes started in October.
Among those errors found in the learning materials is the inclusion of an obscene word in a module used by Grade 10 students in Pampanga.
TDC found such incidents regretful because the teachers are among those that are criticized by the public. However, Basas noted that an average classroom teacher has “no control” over the content of learning materials supposedly quality-assured by DepEd officials and other experts.
To assess the performance of DepEd for SY 2020-2021, TDC sent formal requests to various government agencies.
“This school year closes next month, yet we encounter the same problems during the opening,” Basas said. “Not too long ago, the DepEd confidently declared that the entire system is ready,” he added.