If the pandemic extends furthermore, DepEd fears that a lack of funding for 2021 is evident.
Distribution of learning modules
Distribution of learning modules has been the biggest recipient of the budget of the Department of Education for the school year 2021-2022 under the blended learning program. On average, a budget of P40 billion is needed to fund two-quarters of the production of the learning modules, considering that it will be a 1-to-1 ratio of learning module to student. The 1st and 2nd quarter budgets were already covered by redirecting school maintenance and extracurricular budget towards the 1st quarter of the school year. Meanwhile, the 2nd quarter funding was taken care of thru some migrated budget allocations from the Bayanihan Act Part Two.
Lack of Funding for 2021
The department’s concern right now is the budget that will be available for 2021. The lack of funding for 2021 will gravely paralyze the learning module production. The expected budget will just be around P15 billion for the two quarters left of the school year 2020-2021. The said budget won’t be enough to assure a 1-to-1 ratio of modules to students. The DepEd Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction suggests that sharing of modules between students can help overcome the obstacle of lack of learning module supply. However, the thought of social distancing is clearly defied by the following suggestion.
In a Senate hearing recently, lawmakers question the purpose of having to formulate and print out learning modules, when in fact, there are already existing learning modules per grade level, which we are commonly known to us as class textbooks. Acquiring textbooks already out in the market should be less expensive and convenient for both students and teachers. The only concern would be, which textbook should be selected and how to supply all the students Nationwide.