THE “sariling sikap”
production of learning modules by public schools will
cost at least P15.1 billion
next year, one of the biggest
items in the Department of
Education’s (DepEd’s) proposed P629.8 billion obligation budget for 2022, Senator Joel Villanueva said.
In a press release sent to
Cebu Business Week, Villanueva, vice chair of the Senate
basic education committee
said “To compare, the budget for new classrooms is
about P2.92 billion. For new
chairs and desks about P1.1
What we will be
spending for limited- or single-use modules which are printed by schools and
picked up by parents or home-delivered to students “is far bigger than the
budget for textbooks,” the senator pointed out.
Even the construction budget DepEd is asking for next year which is P7.9
billion, is half of the proposed outlay for what has become known as
self-learning modules (SLM).
But Villanueva said actual spending for modules will exceed the P15.1-billion
earmarked in the budget “as each school can augment this from their maintenance
and other operating expenses fund.”
Villanueva described the P15.1 billion as “the price we have to pay for failing
to rein in the pandemic, which, in turn, has prevented the resumption of
“It is also the penalty we are paying for our poor digital infrastructure which
has made remote learning an ordeal for teachers, learners, and parents,” he
“But all of this pales in comparison to the damage done to millions of learners
in terms of knowledge forfeited, which education experts describe as the
so-called ‘COVID slide,’ a national tragedy so great that it is impossible to
quantify,” he said.
He urged DepEd to comply with the single, most-important conditionality
attached to the P15.1-billion SLM fund: the prevention of errors.
Under the special provisions of the DepEd budget, the agency’s “Error Watch
Initiative” shall proactively review learning modules and rectify, withdraw or
replace those which contain errors.
Last school year, complaints of DepEd modules
grabbed the headlines for several reasons, including political correctness,
factual errors, and even spelling and grammatical lapses.
By supplying printed materials to 22.75 million public school students last
school year, DepEd had become the country’s “de facto biggest publishing house,”
he said. PR