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DepEd urged to probe 'sagot for sale' scheme

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian is calling on the Department of Education to investigate reports of what he called the "sagot for sale" scheme, in which parents hire another person to answer their children's self-learning modules.

In a recent hearing of the Senate basic education committee, Gatchalian referred to a report by the Teachers' Dignity Coalition which showed how struggling parents hire someone else -- usually a person they find online -- to answer their children's modules.

“Huwag naman sanang gawin ng mga magulang iyon dahil kawawa ang mga bata. Hindi natin sila natutulungang matuto sa ganyang mga paraan,” the senator said in a statement on Monday.

Gatchalian warned parents that by hiring someone else to answer the modules, their children will only suffer as their learning and development will be compromised.

The Senate panel is set to conduct soon another hearing on the methodology of assessing learners' performance.

The DepEd has said that 99.13% of the more than 14 million public school students passed the first quarter of the school year. This data does not include yet the National Capital Region, Region VII, and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Gatchalian, however, said that the case is different in Valenzuela City, his home city, where among Grade 8 students, the average is about 48% across different subjects. In Grade 9, the average is 51% across subjects, while 55% is the average in Grade 10.

The senator acknowledged that the DepEd report is based on regional submission, but he said there is still a need to better understand how learners are being evaluated as they attend their classes under a distance learning setup.

“I know this is challenging, but again we need to fully understand the assessment conducted by the DepEd. And we also want to see a per subject analysis because we all know that we need to help our students by looking at their weaknesses in different subject matters,” he said.

Gatchalian and six other lawmakers earlier filed a resolution recommending the immediate launch of the pilot testing of localized limited face-to-face classes in low-risk areas in the country.

The Senate adopted this resolution last week.  —KBK, GMA News