With face-to-face classes suspended until the COVID-19 pandemic is over, the Department of Education (DepEd) is experiencing a new problem as it runs out of budget to pay for the printing of modules next year. The education department fears that students might have to share modules for the 3rd and 4th grading periods due to lack of funds!
“For the 1st quarter, in-allow natin na galawin ng mga eskwelahan ang kanilang MOOE (Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses). For the 2nd quarter, we downloaded funds for this. Baka in 2021, hindi natin maibigay ang 1:1 kasi ang funding natin is only Php15 billion. And that will cover 3rd and 4th quarter of this school year,” explained Education Undersecretary Anne Sevilla.
To print all the modules for the 3rd and 4th grading periods, the DepEd will need Php35 billion to Php40 billion for a 1:1 module-to-student ratio. If the budget department won’t increase the allocation for the DepEd, then the schools would have to impose module sharing.
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To still ensure that the COVID-19 virus won’t be transmitted between students who are sharing the modules, these will be disinfected before redistribution to other students, said Education Undersecretary Diosdado San Antonio.
But such a move is feared to further spread the virus in the community. In fact, the current practice of parents going to school to pick up and pass the modules has been met with concern online because this still puts the parents and teachers at risk of passing the virus among each other.
“Based on data from lab studies on COVID-19 and what we know about similar respiratory diseases, it may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes,” the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) explained in a press release.
Photo credit: Manila Bulletin
Sharing modules among the students would further put everyone at risk! But unless the budget is increased for the DepEd, this could soon be another dilemma that teachers and parents would have to deal with amid this pandemic.