Students to share self-learning modules due to lack of budget – DepEd

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 15) — Some public school students will have to share self-learning modules or SLMs during the pandemic school year, the Department of Education said Tuesday.

The modules will be “on rotation," according to DepEd.

“That is allowed. At most four but ang sinasabi namin (what we're saying is) two learners can use it,” DepEd Undersecretary Diosdado San Antonio said during the agency’s 2021 budget hearing at the House of Representatives.

He assured lawmakers that the materials will be disinfected using UV light before being distributed from one student to another.

Alliance of Concerned Teachers Party-list Rep. Franz Castro said the ratio of self-learning modules to students should be one is to one. However, education officials said they will not have enough money to produce all modules for each student because that would cost around ₱35 billion.

The Budget Department apparently approved only around ₱15 billion for the production of modules in next year’s budget, leaving a deficit of about ₱10 billion.

Some lawmakers said they will help the agency get additional funding for the modules.

“At the proper time I will be moving for the additional ₱10 billion budget so that our teachers can do the teaching and focusing on teaching and not soliciting for materials,” Bohol 1st District Rep. Edgar Chatto said.

Over 24 million basic education students have so far enrolled for the pandemic school year. Most of them, or over 22 million are registered in public schools.

Due to lack of access to gadgets or internet, most of them prefer printed modules or lessons as their alternative learning delivery modality.

Basic education classes will resume on October 5 as the government rejects calls for an "academic freeze" amid the pandemic.