The Department of Education (DepEd) said that 4 out of the 221 schools division offices (SDOs) are “lagging behind” on the printing of self-learning modules (SLMs).
Education Undersecretary Revsee Escobedo presented the status of the printing of SLMs in different regions in the country at a virtual press briefing on Monday, August 24.
In a Viber message to Rappler, Escobedo clarified that the total number of SDOs in the country is 221, not 214 as stated in his presentation. SDOs are group of schools in a city or province.
Asked where the 4 “lagging” SDOs are located, Escobedo said two are from Central Luzon, one from the National Capital Region (NCR), and one from Eastern Visayas.
Meanwhile, 7 regions are already in the “advanced” status of printing, which means the SDOs in these regions are already printing 80% to 100% of SLMs. These regions are: Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Calabarzon, Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, Caraga, and NCR.
Six regions are in the “processing” status which means SDOs are printing 50% to 79% of SLMs. These are: Central Luzon, Mimaropa, Bicol, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, and Zamboanga Peninsula. Another 4 regions are in the “catching up” stage or at 25% to 49% of printing. These are: Western Visayas, Davao, Caraga, and Cordillera Administrative Region.
How is DepEd addressing the issue?
Escobedo said the lack of budget and supplies of bond paper contributed to the delay in the printing of SLMs.
“‘Yung 4 na ‘yon una ay ‘yung challenges sa printing of modules, ‘yung kakulangan sa budget at funding, and of course ‘yung iba may dinaranas na lack of supplies ng materials – ‘yung papel na gagamitin. Mahirap ang supply ng papel,” Escobedo said.
(The challenges the 4 regions met on the printing of modules were lack of budget and funding, and of course, others encountered lack of supplies such as bond paper. Supply of bond paper is scarce.)
To address these issues, Escobedo said that schools have been engaging private sectors to help them in printing the SLMs through Brigada Eskwela.
Aside from this, Escobedo said that DepEd’s procurement office has coordinated with the National Printing Office and other government printing offices to fast track the reproduction of SLMs and to procure bond paper.
DepEd earlier said that it had downloaded P9 billion worth of funds for the printing of SLMs.
Why does this matter?
The printing of SLMs was supposedly the reason why the school opening was moved from August 24 to October 5. There had been reports that some teachers didn’t have copies of the SLMs weeks before the original date of the school opening. (READ: 3 weeks into school opening, teachers say they still don’t have copies of learning modules)
Modular learning is the backbone of the DepEd’s distance learning program as access to technology remains a problem for most students. Other modes of learning such as online, and TV and radio broadcast would supplement the SLMs. (READ: 8.8 million parents prefer modular learning for students – DepEd)
Some 23.6 million private and public schools students have enrolled for the school year during the coronavirus pandemic. This is 4 million less than last year’s 27.7 million enrolees. – Rappler.com
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