By Ma. Teresa Montemayor
MANILA – The Department of Education (DepEd) on Monday assured that funds will be available for the implementation of its Basic Education-Learning Continuity Plan (BE-LCP) for incoming school year.
“In our original budget, there was no specific allotment for printing of modules but since we need to fund this [BE-LCP], we realigned our funds. We will continue to realign and modify because we have continuing programs,” DepEd Undersecretary for Finance Annalyn Sevilla said during the “Handang Isip, Handa Bukas” virtual media briefing.
Earlier, the DepEd received reports about teachers requesting donation from the private sector and individuals for the printing and reproduction of self-learning modules (SLM) which will be used by the learners under the BE-LCP.
“A total of PHP9 billion realigned funds for BE-LCP has been downloaded to the Regional Offices and the Schools Division Offices, PHP17 billion was realigned and modified, Special Education Fund was also aligned to LCP with a total of about PHP20 billion but we cannot account for all of this because the funds are in the local government units and also Brigada Eskwela efforts are also in support of the LCP,” Sevilla said.
She also noted that schools may use their maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) funds to reproduce and distribute SLMs to learners.
DepEd Undersecretary for Planning and Field Operations Jesus Mateo, in a television interview on Monday, reported that the department has distributed printed learning materials for the first quarter.
“We’re done with the first quarter the very least. And then we’re doing the second, third and fourth quarter as well. We’re also beta testing some of the different modalities like the TV and radio broadcast,” Mateo said.
In the same media briefing, Education Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction Diosdado San Antonio said school year 2020 to 2021 will start on October 5, 2020 and will end on June 16, 2021.
“We have a total of 200 school days as mandated and required by existing laws. The Christmas vacation will start on December 20, 2020 and classes will resume on January 3, 2021,” San Antonio said.
The adjusted date of the class opening, he added, will be used for the recalibration of quality assurance protocols to avoid errors in learning resources which came out during their dry run.
“Hindi lang ang content, technical aspects, tinitingnan din iyong compliance sa intellectual property rights at sa lahat (We’re not just checking on the content, technical aspects, we’re also looking at the compliance to intellectual property rights and other [requirements],” San Antonio said.
On Friday, Education Secretary Leonor Briones announced that class opening will be moved from Aug. 24 to Oct. 5 upon the recommendations of several groups and lawmakers. (PNA)