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Angara wants to probe delays in basic education delivery

August 09, 2019 - Friday 5:08 PM by PNA

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MANILA – Senator Sonny Angara on Friday said he will file a resolution to look into the chronic delays in the procurement and distribution to the end-users of critical basic education facilities and the adverse effects of these on basic education outcomes, including the performance of students.

Angara, chair of the Senate committee on finance, lamented the “disappointing” accomplishment report of the Department of Education (DepEd) for 2018, which showed how poorly the agency is performing.

Citing the Commission on Audit’s (COA) report on DepEd, Angara noted that the agency was supposed to construct 47,000 new classrooms for the year but only managed to complete 11.

“That’s not even 1 percent of the target. Tapos may mga nakita pa ang COA na mga classrooms na lagpas dalawang taon na ang delay sa completion at nirereport pa na 99 percent completed na pero hindi naman pala (COA found that there are some classrooms that are delayed in completion for over two years even though the agency reported that 99 percent have already been completed),” Angara said.

Taon taon ang laki ng pondo na binibigay sa DepEd para sa edukasyon ng mga bata tapos masasayang lang ang malaking bahagi nito at makikita na naman natin ang mga estudyanteng walang classrooms (The DepEd gets the biggest chunk of government funds for the children’s education, but it only goes to waste seeing that students don’t even have enough classrooms),” he added

The senator said the DepEd was also supposed to distribute 38.5 million textbooks and instructional and learning materials for the students and teachers but was only able to deliver 11.8 million.

He pointed out that 3.4 million copies of instructional materials worth PHP113.7 million procured from 2014 to 2017 were left rotting inside the warehouses of the DepEd.

A total of 3,183 science and math packages, which consists of equipment essential to learning under the K to 12 program, was targeted for distribution in 2018, but none of these were delivered to their intended recipients.

In the DepEd report, the state auditors saw that there were undelivered science and mathematics equipment (SME); unutilized SMEs due to excessive quantities allocated and delivered to schools that did not need them; there was a lack of knowledge and proper training of teachers to use these equipment; and a lack of storage rooms or laboratories to house these items.

"We are supposed to be showing progress in our educational system, but after seeing these figures, clearly we still have a long way to go,” Angara said.

“Education always gets the biggest share of the government’s funds and rightfully so because this will ensure the country remains competitive with its people as its backbone. So why are we shortchanging our people on this front with such inefficiencies?,” Angara added. (PNA)