The mandatory purchase of workbooks, modules and other supplementary materials for elementary high school students should be scrapped since it has been long banned, a lawmaker said on Friday.
Rep. Terry Ridon of Kabataan party-list made the disclosure under his House Resolution 930 which seeks Congressional probe on such practice of illegal and compulsory sale of materials to elementary and high school students.
Ridon noted that the sale of instructional materials violates DECS Order 65, s. 1990 which prohibits the sale of textbooks, workbooks, school supplies, magazines, leaflets, newspapers, and other materials to students.
DECS is the acronym of for the Department of Education, Culture and Sports, the old name of the DepEd.
“DECS Order No. 65 has not yet been amended or rescinded and is thus still in full force and effect. The rampant practice of selling workbooks and other supplemental instructional materials to students of both public and private basic educational institutions not only violates existing laws, rules, and regulations but also results to additional financial burdens to students and their parents,” Ridon pointed out.
Ridon cited that Kabataan gathered complaints from parents and students about such practice being implemented in the Arellano High School in Manila, Jose Abad Santos High School in Manila and Quirino High School in Quezon City. In these schools, the price of workbooks and other instructional materials ranges from P45 to P160, with some of them pegged at P45 sold per quarter of the school year.
“There is a need for Congress to review existing regulations on such nefarious sales activities,” Ridon, a lawyer, argued.
Ridon lamented that the schools, both public and private, have already deviated from the old and practical norm wherein standard textbooks can be shared by siblings, resulting in savings.
Nowadays, books are patterned as workbooks wherein the students are made to answer directly on the book, thus making the book useless by the end of the year.
“Due to DepEd’s failure to compel school administrations to comply with said rules and regulations, violators continue with their nefarious deeds without being sanctioned or dealt with,” Ridon added.