Streamlined procurement will solve lack of basic educ books – solon

February 10, 2024, 5:06 pm

<p><em>(PNA photo by Robinson Niñal Jr.)</em></p>

(PNA photo by Robinson Niñal Jr.)

MANILA – There is a need to streamline the procurement of public school textbooks to ensure that all learners have their own set.

In a news release on Saturday, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said the Second Congressional Commission on Education (EDCOM II) has disclosed the lack of textbooks in public schools.

Ang edukasyon ng ating mga kabataan ang napapabayaan kung patuloy ang mga suliranin sa pagkakaroon ng sapat at dekalidad na mga textbook (Our youth’s education will be neglected if the problem on lack of quality textbooks persists),” Gatchalian said.

EDCOM II said in its report that only 27 textbooks for Kindergarten to Grade 10 have been procured while only textbooks for Grades 5 and 6 were procured since the K to 12 curriculum was introduced in Academic Year 2012-2013.

The same report showed that from 2018 to 2022, PHP12.6 billion was allocated for textbooks and other instructional materials, 35.3 percent or PHP4.5 billion of which was obligated and 7.5 percent or PHP952 million was disbursed.

Vice President and Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Sara Z. Duterte said in her Basic Education Report 2024 in January that alongside traditional textbooks, they would also provide e-textbooks.

“To leverage digital technology, we have started consultations with various publishers to facilitate the provision of electronic textbooks,” she said.

DepEd is also implementing “Catch-up Fridays” in public schools across the country to improve basic education learners' reading and writing skills.

Gatchalian plans to seek an oversight review of the Book Publishing Industry Development Act to assess whether the country’s publishing industry is keeping up with rapid digitalization. (With a report from Leonel Abasola/PNA)