Our teachers and the irony at DepEd

By: Atty. Ruphil F. Bañoc August 16,2019 - 07:00 AM

I remember my burdensome but enjoyable experience in teaching when I was invited to teach at Cebu Technological University (CTU) and Cebu Normal University (CNU) for their communication students. 

I always allocated time in the preparation before going to the class to lecture my students. I tried my best not to commit any mistake because I knew that my students would really believe in me being their teacher, and it would have a domino effect on them in the future. 

Like other teachers, it is unavoidable sometimes that I could bring some of my workloads at home, especially in the preparation of test questionnaires and checking the same after the examinations. 

The life of a teacher is not easy even if my experience in teaching was in college. For this reason, I could not imagine the kind of commitment of those who are teaching in the elementary and high school levels. 

Despite the stressful experience, I was relieved when I noticed that my students learned something from me. It was also fulfilling watching my students during graduation, and seeing them eventually landing a job thereafter. 

In my observation, I shared the same experience with my fellow teachers. All the stress would be overcome by the passion to teach to impart knowledge to the students. 

The ordinary teachers who are the frontliners are doing their job carefully. It is just frustrating that high ranking officials of Department of Education (DepEd) are the ones who seem to have not done their share. 

In a Commission on Audit report, DepEd spent P254 million on erroneous books. It was also found out that DepEd has an alarming number of undistributed instructional materials worth more than P113 million. 

Moreover, COA said the Grade 3 “Araling Panlipunan Learner’s material,” written by Manalo, Capunitan, Galarosa and Sampang, has 1,308 errors. It also said that the 363-page Grade 3 “English Learner’s Material,” written by 15 authors, contains 430 errors.

Also the 185-page Grade 3 “Science Learner’s Material,” which was written in Filipino, was found to have 317 errors. Aside from errors, COA pointed out that the materials have wrongly chosen words as well as grammatical and factual mistakes.

The impact? Well, mistakes in books are taken as facts by innocent minds. The damage is incalculable.  

So why did it happen? How did DepEd choose their authors? What happened to the assigned editors? What about the proofreaders? Did DepEd hire the right people? What did DepEd spend with the huge budget for the purpose?

DepEd officials’ reason that they are just “human beings” is sick. In my view, such answer is understandable if the errors did not exceed 5-10 in a book, but by the hundreds or a thousand? No, sir! What’s next? A million errors in exchange for millions in kickbacks? 

Put into picture the boundless self-sacrifice of countless teachers versus the staggering stupidity and corruption of our DepEd officials. You will see a painful irony. 

The ultimate irony is the fact that DepEd being the agency tasked to educate the children of this country is the one producing the erroneous learning materials. Not just once, twice but many times already.  

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