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DepEd spends P254M on faulty textbooks

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by Allan Yves Briones

Grade 3 textbooks procured by the Department of Education (DepEd) are impaired by grammatical and factual errors, as well as incorrect word usage.

This, according to the 2018 audit report released by the Commission on Audit (COA).

“The existence of error-filled learning materials is an indication that the meticulous checking/review/evaluation processes of the manuscripts were not undertaken by the concerned bureaus before its mass production,” the report read.

State auditors found that textbooks for Araling Panlipunan, Science and English worth P254 million delivered between 2015 and 2016 contained errors which may affect the level of education received by public school students nationwide.

Under DepEd policy, these materials were subjected to a three-step review.

Despite this, however, teachers told state auditors that the subject textbooks were not in-line with curriculum guidelines, forcing them to “resort to using supplemental resources such as books in private schools and internet.”

The state auditing agency also found that DepEd contravened Republic Act No. 8047 or the Book Publishing Industry Development Act in developing the suspect textbooks.

“Clearly, this is a circumvention of Sections 10 and 11 of RA No. 8047 which prevented the Department from publishing and distributing its own textbook, instead of allowing the private publishers to produce and supply the textbook requirements of every public school in the country,” COA said.

COA ordered the education department to improve their review process before procurement and distribution.

Former Education Secretary Armin Luistro approved the contract for the questioned materials.

Senator Sonny Angara expressed his disappointment over DepEd’s inefficiencies.

“How do we expect our youth to be prepared for college and to find decent jobs later on in life when they’re not getting the best education that they deserve in grade school and high school,” he said in a statement.

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