DepEd: Textbooks, armchairs backlog filled before 2012 ends-A A +A
Monday, September 3, 2012
THE Department of Education (DepEd) seeks to attain the one-to-one ratio of books and armchairs to students before the year ends, Education Secretary Armin Luistro told members of Congress Monday.
"We intend to reach a zero backlog on basic inputs of the past decade," Luistro said, referring to shortages in textbooks and armchairs.
The DepEd's proposed 2013 budget of P293.2 billion also targets to close the classroom gap next year by building over 17,000 new classrooms. The budget will also cover the construction of 90,000 sanitation facilities and purchase of 31.1 million textbooks and teachers' manuals.
"We want your support for the 2013 budget so we can say goodbye to shortages to teachers, classrooms and toilets," Luistro told the House committee on appropriations.
At present, there are 45,000 public schools -- 38,000 elementary schools and 7,000 high schools -- which have over 25 million students.
Luistro, who heads the agency that receives the highest budgetary allocation in the proposed 2013 national budget, considers troubles besetting the education sector a "happy problem."
In his State of the Nation Address last July, President Benigno Aquino III vowed to address the 2,573,212 backlogs in chairs and the backlog of 61.7 million textbooks.
Meantime, with the implementation of the K to 12 basic education program this school year, DepEd will also allot P13.4 billion of its budget to create 61,510 teaching positions that will include the regularization of 7,967 kindergarten volunteer teachers.
Besides the enabling law of the K to 12 program, which is still pending before the House of Representatives and the Senate, Luistro also sought the approval of the proposed Early Years Act.
The proposed law, which would institutionalize early childhood education in the country, was earlier vetoed by President Benigno Aquino III last February 28, 2012, due to budgetary constraints, among others.
The original measure passed by Congress proposed an initial allocation of P1 billion plus P500 million for the next five succeeding years. The P1 billion has been removed in the updated version of the bill filed in the present Congress.
The proposed Early Years Act has recently been sent back to a technical working group under the House committee on basic education and culture to iron out the differences and disagreements of the concerned parties.
Western Samar Representative Mel Senen Sarmiento, who presided over during the recent hearing of the House panel, invited representatives from concerned agencies to attend the next hearing to find a common stand on the measure.
One of the issues that were discussed centered on the issue of a two-year transition period wherein the Early Childhood Care and Development council would be transferred to DepEd.
At present, the ECCD is under the Department of Social Welfare and Development. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)