Amid the controversial zero-budget for the special education program (SPED), a teachers’ group called on the Department of Education (DepEd) to specifically “lay down” its plans in supporting the program’s beneficiaries.
For context, DepEd, in a statement issued on Monday, Sept. 19, clarified that they have proposed a P532 million budget for SPED for fiscal year 2023. The proposed allocation, however, “was not considered” in the National Expenditure Program (NEP).
Despite this, the department stressed that this is a “recurring circumstance every year,” adding that they will work with the Congress to find ways to fund their programs.
With this statement, Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) challenged DepEd to release its plan of action on how it will support the implementation of the said item.
“Maraming bata at pamilya ang umaasa sa SPED program ng DepEd lalo na ‘yung walang kakayahang magbayad sa private school (Many children and families rely on DepEd’s SPED program, especially those who cannot afford to enroll in private school),” said TDC National Chairperson Benjo Basas in a press statement on Tuesday, Sept. 20.
“We hope that the internal adjustments of the DepEd would be enough to cover the needed funds for inclusivity. It is just alarming because it seems that those who are in dire need were left behind,” added Basas.
Meanwhile, Filipino teachers are hoping that SPED will be prioritized and given adequate funding in the succeeding budget deliberations.
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