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Gatchalian wants House probe of DepEd’s error-filled textbooks

Photo by Face to Faith Philippines

Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) Congressman Win Gatchalian has filed resolution asking the House of Representatives to investigate the Department of Education’s error-filled textbooks intended for use of students in public schools.

Saying the publication of “sick books” is a waste of precious taxpayers’ money, Gatchalian filed House Resolution No. 2178, “to avert further waste of public funds and ensure the best quality of education in our schools.

“In the interest of quality education and for the welfare of students, especially with the implementation of the K-12 program in schools, there is an urgent need to revisit and examine the procurement process and evaluation of these textbooks in order to improve the quality of education that we inculcate to our learners,” Gatchalian said.



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Gatchalian explained that the discovery of passages with grammatical, conceptual, vocabulary, and idiomatic error-riddled textbooks have recently been exposed to the public, prompting several outcry of mismanagement and corruption in the DepEd, as well as of an unbridled wastage of already-scarce government funds.

The House inquiry is being pushed in aid of legislation, which Gatchalian said will seek to punish those responsible for the publication of “sick books”.

“Transformative change in the procurement and evaluation of books is not an easy process and cannot be done overnight, hence it is important that sanctions be meted out for future publications that do not observe the evaluation that is necessary in the procurement of quality books,” the Valenzuela City representative said.

Gatchalian, who is a majority member for the House Committees on Basic Education and Culture and on Higher and Technical Education, challenged the DepEd, saying if the institution is true in its quest to make Filipino students globally competitive, its books must not contain even a single error. He noted that the K to 12 will not be put to good use if the learning and teaching aid materials are erroneous.

“If the DepEd is really committed to making the student population globally competitive, textbooks for students and teachers should have no room for errors since these will be detrimental to the intellectual growth of students,” the lawmaker pointed out.



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Gatchalian previously called for DepEd to revisit and improve its evaluation system after a Grade 10 textbook, titled “Diversity: Celebrating Multiculturism (sic) through World Literature”, has been found by “sick books” crusader Antonio Calipjo Go to have 1,300 errors.

The DepEd earlier admitted that there was an “editorial lapse” in another Grade 10 textbook, “Filipino: Panitikang Pandaigdig”, which incorrectly stated that “Harry Potter” is a novel from the United States and that the Epic of Gilgamesh is from Egypt.

“Clearly, the DepEd’s current system of evaluation to check against factual and grammatical errors is ineffective because textbook errors still persist. Textbooks and manuals should only be printed if and only if they contain no error. A single mistake is one too many,” said Gatchalian.

The congressman further emphasized: “A textbook mistake does not only affect one generation of students but also future ones, creating a vicious cycle of ignorance. Such cycle could have been prevented if only the concerned officials and employees are performing their jobs excellently.” (Monica Cantilero)