/ 24 September 2020

THE ALLIANCE  of Concerned Teachers slammed the announcement of the Department of Education that students will have to share learning modules, saying this scheme is ‘unacceptable.’

The group urged has Congress to increase the budget of the department for the printing of modules.

ACT said the module-sharing scheme is not a result of scarcity of resources but of ‘government misprioritization’.

“After two postponements of classes, the Duterte administration still has not addressed the most basic needs of its learning continuity plan amid the pandemic,” the group said. “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.”

“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,” Raymond Basilio, the group’s secretary general, said in a statement.

DepEd’s ideal estimated cost of module printing for a year is P74.6 billion while its conservative computation is P50.4 billion. However, the agency only received P15 billion in the 2021 National Expenditure Program.

ACT estimates that P51.5 billion is needed to provide one set of modules per week for 34 weeks to 71 percent of the 22,215,134 enrolled public school learners. The number of module recipients 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,” Basilio said.

ACT urged Congress to allot more budget for the Education department to address the shortage of learning modules.