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BUDGET CUT

Students may have to share copies of modules in blended learning, DepEd says


Students may have to share copies of self-learning modules under the current blended learning as the Department of Education (DepEd) lacks funds for printing, an official said.

At the deliberation of the proposed 2021 budget for the agency at the House of Representatives Tuesday, Undersecretary Diosdado San Antonio said that with less funds, it would be impossible to provide students a copy of each of the modules to be used when classes in public school begin on October 5.  

The Department of Education (DepEd) is considering adjusting its proposal to provide one module per student due to lack of budget provided under the 2021 National Expenditure Program (NEP).

“The other thing that I was saying, I know there are reservations from a lot of people, is the idea  of using the modules on rotation basis,” San Antonio said.

San Antonio said the learning materials will undergo disinfection to avoid possible transmission of coronavirus.

DepEd Undersecretary Annalyn Sevilla said the department proposed P34 billion budget to provide one self-learning module per student.

However, she said the Department of Budget and Management appropriated only P15 billion for printing of self-learning modules for students.  Another P5 billion was appropriated under unprogrammed projects.

Unprogrammed funds are standby appropriations that legislators have been including in the General Appropriations Act (GAA) that are not supported by a  specific source of financing at the time the budget is approved.

DepEd will also use funds from the Special Education Fund of local governments units, as well those from Brigada Eskuwela initiatives, which include solicitation.

“So we are readjusting our plan so that we can have a production of the self-learning materials with this amount which was given to us,” Sevilla said.

Sevilla appealed to the House panel deliberating on the DepEd budget to grant it an additional P10 billion budget to make sure that all students will have their own copies of self-learning modules, which some lawmakers supported.—LDF, GMA News

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