PASAY CITY, September 19, 2018 – Relative to the issue of giving “one-sided” accounts, the Department of Education (DepEd) underscores the importance of putting into proper context the discussion about erroneous textbooks that transpired during the hearing of the agency’s 2019 proposed budget at the Senate Sub-Committee on Education on September 19, Wednesday.

Foremost, the old textbooks in question, despite reported use in certain public schools in Valenzuela and Bulacan, are not issued by DepEd. These are also not aligned with the K to 12 curriculum, hence the inadequate information on the Marcos dictatorship.

However, the Department is cognizant of the importance of looking into similar materials, which may be using marks of the agency, and is already implementing reviews and reforms to ensure and update the accuracy compliance to learning competencies of materials used in public schools. DepEd has reached out to and invited the most active critic of textbooks to participate in the process.

Second, Republic Act No. 8047, or the Book Publishing Industry Development Act, confines the Department’s mandate to “preparing the minimum learning competencies, and/or prototypes and other specifications for books and/or manuscripts called for; testing, evaluating, selecting and approving the manuscripts or books to be submitted by the publishers for multiple adoption; providing assistance in the distribution of textbooks to the public school systems; and promulgating with the participation and assistance of the Board rules and regulations for the private book publishers in the call, testing evaluation, selection, approval, as well as production specification and acquisition of public school textbooks.”

“The law says that this has to be written and published by private printers. . . Hindi kami allowed. And this explains also why in spite of new developments, new information, new perspectives, hindi nare-reflect sa textbooks kaagad,” Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones noted.

DepEd has also been implementing varying evaluation and quality assurance processes for learning resources and instructional materials developed by private publishers for the agency.

Lastly, DepEd is already conducting review workshops of all its learning materials to help identify and correct errors. The agency is also considering ways on how to ensure that textbooks being used in private schools may also be reviewed by the Department prior to use.
“Part of our efforts to make all these corrections is to look at the schools that are still using these kinds of textbooks, which have lost their relevance. It is a duty on our part to check on the schools who are still using these books because we have a lot of new materials already,” the Education chief concluded.