"Undelivered Books"

by Joy Rizal

Another year of meaningless DepEd promises and still no learning material for our children.suffering though the implementation of the K-12 program. This is the third year the same set of students will probably not receive any learning material until December with the rest delivered the next calendar year (The third and forth quarters of the school year)

To view this report, please visit CNN Philippines

Earlier this year when questioned by CNN about the lack of learning materials delivered to schools thorough out our nation, DepEd responded by saying:

"I would not call it shortage. It's just a delay in the delivery," says DepEd Assistant Secretary Jesus Mateo.

Perhaps an almost semi-true statement when one considers that apparently nothing had been printed for this school year. Based on another statement by DepEd that was also reported by CNN:

DepEd says the lowest bidder didn't pass the rule that a supplier must have completed a recent project worth at least half of the P1.2 billion deal, leading to another round of bidding.
The project has been awarded. But DepEd refused to identify the suppliers in the deal.

Mateo says he could not divulge the names.
And of course for yet another year we hear the hollow promise, as stated in the same article, "DepEd says all book should be delivered before the end of June 2015". (Yes the article said book, not books. I would like to believe that was a typo but with DepEd’s history that may be exactly what they said and what they meant. All books should be delivered somewhere, to some one before the end of June.)

It would seem DepEd has a huge problem about giving anyone a straightforward honest answer to the simplest of questions regarding their operations. DepEd does not seem to understand the reasons for, nor is it able to follow the most basic aspects regarding, the transparency laws our nation has implemented. Essentially DepEd is making a mockery of the Philippine Transparency Seal they proudly display on every page of their web site. Regardless of who asks the questions, individuals, news reporters or even senators, DepEd constantly refuses to answer even the simplest of questions with a straightforward honest answer about their operation and performance. Basically implying that we should simply “trust them”.

Unfortunately an even more troubling question remains why are many if not most of the same people within DepEd that have been in the key responsibility positions of the problem areas still being allowed to work at or with DepEd? Why are those people apparently not being seriously investigated or questioned about the failures and shortcomings of the same issues that are constantly repeated, without improvement, year after year?

Of course, it could be argued that our government leaders have more important things to worry about than the 'trivial' issue of no learning material for our children. From infrastructure issues to the rebel groups that blatantly want to overthrow the Philippine government, there are obviously a lot of important issues that our government leaders must deal with.

However, I have to wonder how many officials realize that if our children were well educated and allowed to be creative with problem solving, how many of the infrastructure issues would be solved by the well educated graduates without the government needing to do much of anything (other than stay out of the way)?

Even more importantly, I wonder if the government officials realize that by having a very poor education system that they themselves are creating a society of young people that are highly susceptible to militant xenophobic causes? (In other words the government itself is creating the potential members for the very groups that want to over throw it.) The poor education link to potential rebel members/militant groups has been stated in many sources, some dating back decades. For instance a reference can be found in the book “BETWEEN TWO AGES” by Zbigniew Brzezinski published back in 1970 (A book discussing various aspects of international affairs, from the U.S.A. prospective, as computer technology started taking a primary role on the 'world stage'.).

Or could it be, as it was stated about the resistance to changes in education by government officials of Brazil some years ago . . . “They want it that way [poor quality education]. In order for officials to maintain their privileges, they are dependent on the perpetuation of the status quo."

So much has been tried to get our education improved over the years. Yet potential improvements always seem to be sabotaged by a hand full of people. Or at least in news reports though the years the same names seem to always show up, regardless of administration. Perhaps it is time to add one more thing to our list of things we continue to try in order to get a high quality education for our children.

Say a prayer for the officials that are hindering the education of our nation’s children.