The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Philippines found ‘unacceptable’ the module-sharing scheme forced upon learners due to lack of funds to meet the 1:1 module set-to-student ratio, citing that this is more a matter of ‘government mis-prioritization’ than actual scarcity of resources.
The group urged Congress to increase DepEd’s budget for module printing as it will cater to majority of learners, the group forwards a P51.5 billion allocation for such for an entire school year.
“After two postponements of classes, the Duterte administration still has not addressed the most basic needs of its learning continuity plan (LCP) amid the pandemic. Kami-kami na naman ang mag-a-adjust through the module-sharing scheme, simply because this regime couldn’t care less for education. This is completely unacceptable, and is a violation of their constitutional mandate to guarantee accessible quality education. If they had funds for the ridiculous dolomite sand in Manila Bay, the President’s unjustified trips to Davao via private plane, and other dubious use of our money, they can definitely fund DepEd’s modular learning program—the most basic and doable of LCP,” declared ACT Secretary General Raymond Basilio.
DepEd’s ideal estimated cost of module printing for a year is P74.6 billion while their conservative computation comes to P50.4 billion, but the agency has so far only received a stingy P15 billion provision in the 2021 NEP according to Finance Undersecretary Anne Sevilla.
ACT estimates, however, that P51.5 billion will be needed in order to provide one set of modules per week for 34 weeks to 71% of the 22,215,134 enrolled public school learners.
The target recipient of the modules was based on the agency’s learning modality preference survey during the enrollment. “That’s just P3,264 per student for the entire school year.
Surely, the Duterte administration can invest as much and more to the education of our youth, the only question is will they? Will the President be willing to forego several questionable provisions in the 2021 proposed budget and realign these to its largest social service agency?
Huge chunks of the people’s money can be gathered from planned budgets for war, counterinsurgency, and ‘Build, Build, Build,’ and can be better used to serve the interests and rights of the Filipino people, especially amid this crisis,” challenged Basilio.
ACT welcomed the ‘generally positive response’ of lawmakers to DepEd’s funding needs for remote learning during the 2021 budget hearing.
Appropriations committee members pushed for an additional P10 billion funds for module printing, in a bid to prevent module-sharing among learners.
The teachers’ group continued to call on Congress to substantially increase the meagre DBM budget proposal for module production and other vital needs for safe, accessible, and quality education amid and beyond the pandemic.