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DepEd chooses to remain deaf, dumb

12:46 AM January 09, 2014

The Dec. 27, 2013, “Invitation to Bid” of the Department of Education states: “The DepEd intends to apply the sum of Three Hundred Eighty-Seven Million Pesos (P387 million) being the Approved Budget for the Contract to payments under the contract for Printing of Grade 9 Learner’s Materials and Teacher’s Guides.”

Four letters to the editor questioning the complete lack of quality and integrity of “Voyages in Communication,” the learning material used by Grade 8 students of public high schools, were all met by the DepEd with resounding silence. If my allegations were unfounded, the DepEd should have refuted them; if true, it should have assured the public that the errors will be corrected. The DepEd, however, chose to remain deaf and dumb. How can the DepEd now assure us that the Grade 9 learning materials (covering six subjects: English, Filipino, math, music and arts, physical education and “Araling Panlipunan” or social studies) it wants to be mass-produced at the stupendous cost of P387 million will be, unlike “Voyages in Communication,” of good quality?

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The DepEd’s own in-house textbook evaluating agency, the Instructional Materials Council Secretariat (IMCS), which was identified in the paid advertisement as the “End-User/Contract Implementing Unit,” has time and again failed to live up to its mandate of ensuring that textbooks used in public schools contain as few errors as possible. “Voyages in Communication” is the worst learning material I have seen in my 18 years of reviewing textbooks. No responsible entity—public or private—will take this kind of devastating criticism lightly. (The lowliest carinderia, once told that the food it serves is bad, will certainly make an effort to improve, rectify and reform.) Not so the biggest government bureaucracy.

Since I am moved by the obligation to endure for my cause—the eradication of error-riddled textbooks and learning materials from Philippine schools—I am addressing this open letter directly to the good Education Secretary  Armin Luistro. May I suggest, Sir, that you seek the help of people outside of DepEd to review and evaluate the Grade 9 learning materials before they are printed and mass-produced. There are many colleges and universities which advertise themselves as “Centers of Excellence.” Why not get them to do the job that the IMCS does not and cannot do?

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OPINION

The schoolchildren under your watch and under your care are the seedlings that will greet the mornings we will not see. They are the future of the country. I understand that they are in school, but are they learning true, good and correct knowledge, skills and values? It isn’t fair that they are given to use learning materials which are written by people who are obviously graduates of Iskul Bukol and Wanbol University. The power to seize eternity is in your hands today!

—ANTONIO CALIPJO GO,

Academic supervisor, Marian School of Quezon City, 199 Sauyo Road, Novaliches, Quezon City

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TAGS: budget, DepEd, errors, learning textbooks, letters
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