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House panel eyes creation of body to ‘screen’ DepEd modules

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The House Committee on Basic Education and Culture has created a technical working group to craft a substitute bill providing for a third-party external auditor that would ensure the accuracy, quality, and effectiveness of learning materials for the K to 12 curriculum.

Panel chairman and Pasig City Rep. Roman Romulo approved last Wednesday the creation of a TWG that would consolidate House Bills 6247 and 6417.

He said the two measures seek to reform the country’s basic education system by introducing structural and institutional adjustments to the K to 12 curriculum.

Romulo cited the need for a third-party external auditor in light of errors being  discovered every year in the learning materials and modules of the Department of Education (DepEd).

The TWG would use the proposal of Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, as embodied in his HB 6247, to create a Learning Materials Development Center (LMDC) attached to the University of the Philippines, which would ensure the accuracy and effectiveness of nationally procured and nationally distributed learning materials, including textbooks and modules in public elementary and secondary schools.

No textbook could be procured by DepEd unless certified accurate by the LMDC, the bill provides.

“The problem with materials produced by the Department of Education is really quality assurance. I have not seen a textbook produced by the DepEd that compares with the quality of learning materials typical in more sophisticated public school systems. Instead, what we see are materials that jump too high, steep too low, or are just plain inaccurate or objectionable,” Salceda said.

“So we need an independent center to act as a sort of content and quality ombudsman for our learning materials.”

Salceda said that because testing is standardized in the country, “textbooks are crucial, because public schools don’t deviate from them.”

“If you spread inaccuracies with one textbook, it spreads all over the country. And because we keep these books for a while, you could be misinforming or miseducating a generation with a bad textbook,” Salceda added.

Despite the presence of an external auditor, Marikina City Rep. Stella Luz Quimbo, for her part, said there has to be accountability that clearly rests on the DepEd.

DepEd Undersecretary Tonisito Umali said that personally, he is in support of the proposal that would ensure provision of error-free learning materials for children.

On the issue of K to 12 curriculum review or assessment, Umali requested the committee to give them 15 days to submit a partial or complete report on the DepEd’s review of the K to 12 Program.

Read full article on BusinessMirror

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