DepEd: 16 M outdated books not fit for K to 12 still useful
THE Department of Education (DepEd) on Monday debunked the claim of the Commission on Audit (COA) which said that the department wasted P608.7 million in procuring about 16 million books in 2011 which are allegedly not responsive to the K to 12 program.
In a statement, DepEd maintained that the 16,296,231 textbooks it procured are still being used as reference materials in schools and that it has implemented various measures directing school officials to use these textbooks to complement the basic education program.
“The Department of Education (DepEd) disagrees that the P608M-worth of textbooks procured in 2011 for SY 2012-2013 are obsolete and a waste of the State’s resources. In fact, these textbooks are still being used as reference materials in our schools. DepEd had anticipated the challenges posed by the new curriculum, especially on our teachers and students. In response, we released a series of memorandums (in 2012 and 2013) on how to use of these textbooks in support to the implementation of the enhanced curriculum,” the DepEd statement read.
“We should understand that these textbooks may be old but not deemed as useless, much less obsolete,” DepEd reiterated.
The Education department justified the procurement of the textbooks, saying that not all content and competencies in school subjects were revised with the implementation of the K to 12 curriculum.
“A change in the curriculum does not mean all content and performance competencies change. Curriculum is the product of review and revision based on student achievement and development in subject areas. Changes in the English, Mathematics, and Science curriculum guides were made to articulate better content and performance standards. However, the scope of content and skills remains faithful to what learners should develop and master at the end of basic education,” it said.
Republic Act 10533 or the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013, which institutionalized the K to 12 program, added two more years in the basic education curriculum in the country.
In a COA audit report released recently, the state auditing agency admonished DepEd for procuring 16 million books at the onset of the implementation of the K to 12 curriculum, saying that it reflects “lapses in planning and lack of foresight.”
COA also hit DepEd’s lack of preparedness in implementing the K to 12 program.
“The procurement conducted reflects lapses in planning and lack of foresight considering that as early as 2010, DepEd is already gearing up towards the implementation of K to 12. Thus, it can be said that the lack of preparedness of the agency in the implementation of K to 12 deprived the students their access to quality education,” COA said in its report.
The state auditing agency said that the acquisition of about 16 million books not tailored for K to 12 program resulted to “unnecessary expenses” and “brought indiscriminate wastage of government funds” which might have been used to fund materials fit for the K to 12 program.
Delayed deliveries of textbooks for SY 2013-2014
COA also noted delays in the delivery of textbooks for school year 2013-2014, with only 9,691,583 out of 15, 263, 111 (which costs ₱509,117,446) scheduled to be delivered.
With the delays in the delivery of textbooks, COA noted that the DepEd has failed to achieve its 1:1 textbook to student ratio.
“The inability to provide the students with the learning materials at the start of the school year will affect the learning process as the students will not have the right resources to assist them in their studies,” the state auditing agency said.
DepEd admitted to this observation made by COA but said that the delays could be credited to the adaptation of the textbooks to the mother tongue of each region.
“While DepEd admits delays in the delivery of textbooks for SY 2013-2014, please note that the process of content creation for learning materials is a tedious task and that the textbooks were contextualized into mother tongue languages per region. While we have challenges in the delivery of learning materials to certain areas, we have provided alternative means to access the curriculum,” DepEd said.
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