The Department of Education (DepEd) will discourage students with smartphones or other gadgets to choose the use of self-learning modules possibly starting on the second quarter of upcoming school year.
In a press conference on Monday, DepEd Undersecretary Diosdado Antonio said that 59% of the 22 million students enrolled in public schools or almost 13 million learners preferred the use of the printed lessons.
“Sa first quarter, sinubok natin na tugunan 'yung mga preferences ng mga pamilya kaya popular 'yung printed self-learning modules,” San Antonio said.
“Pero, ang pinu-push din natin sa mga susunod na quarters, susubukin natin na kung ‘yung mga pamilya ay may mga gadgets, ay idi-discourage natin na kumuha ng printed self-learning modules,” he added.
With this, San Antonio said the number of students who will be provided with the printed copy of the self-learning modules will be reduced to 6 million from 13 million.
“This would mean a significant reduction in our requirements,” he said.
As of Tuesday, San Antonio said that 179 of the 214 school division offices or 83.64% reported that they are on track in printing self-learning modules for the first quarter of the school year.
DepEd Undersecretary Revsee Escobedo said some school divisions already decided to distribute a single copy of the printed self-learning modules per two students.
At the deliberation of the proposed 2021 budget for the agency at the House of Representatives on September 15, Diosdado said students may have to share copies of self-learning modules.
Citing less funds, he pointed out that it would be impossible to provide students a copy of each of the modules to be used when classes in public schools begin on October 5.
The 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).
DepEd Undersecretary Annalyn Sevilla said the department has proposed a 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 modules. Another P5 billion was appropriated under standby funds.
Sevilla said the department initially submitted a budget proposal of P1.1 trillion for 2021 but the DBM slashed it to P606.5 billion. —KBK, GMA News