By Malu Cadelina Manar
KIDAPAWAN CITY – The Cotabato schools division of the Department of Education (DepEd) admitted it has not reached the one-is-to-one ratio with respect to the number of textbooks and the number of school children for the incoming school year.
Although delivery of reference materials for K-to-12 students started in 2016 and the province has had a buffer stock, “much has yet to be done to reach the perfect ratio,” Division Superintendent Omar Obas said.
The province registered in 2010 a student population (from preschool to high school) of about 831,404, broken down as follows: preschool, 37,761; elementary, 453,880; and high school, 339,763.
Obas said that there are school subjects where reference materials are nationally-procured.
“We could not demand how many books would be distributed to North Cotabato, the control being with the national DepEd office,” said Obas.
So to help meet the growing demands for books, the provincial LGU has also allotted funds to purchase learning materials, according to Obas. This started in school year 2016-2017.
Also, the provincial LGU has conceptualized a program where students taking up technical vocational livelihood courses would be provided consumables for free, including welding rods, baking and cooking materials, and other gadgets.
Meantime, the teaching staff for senior high school — who still lack reference materials — can download the teaching guide under the Learning Resource Materials Division of the website of the Department of Education.
“That is just temporary. We can download these teaching guides while we’re still waiting for the reference materials to be distributed to our province,” said Obas.