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Textbooks’ conversion into e-books proposed

SENATOR Lito Lapid has filed a bill which seeks to amend Republic Act No. 8047 or the “Book Publishing Industry Development Act.”

The amendment will mandate the publishers participating in the government’s Public School Textbook Program to allow the scanning or conversion into e-books and other digital formats, in part or in full, of their approved textbooks.

Lapid proposed this amendment amid the current situation in public schools where books are limited in number and, as a result, our students are forced to share or borrow from one another.

In fact, even in today’s blended learning set-up, sharing of learning materials among groups of students is still the trend because of the shortage of printed modules.

Batid ko na matagal ng problema sa ating mga pampublikong paaralan ang kakulangan sa mga libro at ngayon sa mga module. Mula noon hanggang ngayon, hindi naging 1:1 ang ratio ng pamimigay ng libro o module sa ating mga mag-aaral. Sa panahong ito na delikado ang paglaganap ng covid-19 virus, mas mainam kung maisalin na lamang sa e-books o digital format ang mga libro para ligtas ang bawat estudyante at magagamit nila ito gaano man nila kadalas kailanganin nang hindi nagmamadali dahil may iba pa silang kaklase na kailangang manghiram ng module o libro,” Lapid explained.

Senator Lapid cited that while the budgetary support to address these problems in printing, publishing and distribution of learning modules and textbooks must be prioritized, it is important for the government to take initiative in using already available technologies and innovations that can temporarily fill the gap.

An example of such technology is the digitization of textbooks and modules into electronic copies or e-books and other digital formats.

Once the textbooks or modules become available in digital format, opportunities are afforded to students to have access to the contents of these books without the need for borrowing from the school library or from another student, or waiting for his/her turn in reading the shared physical book or module.

Alam natin ang totoong kalagayan ng mga mag-aaral sa mga pampublikong paaralan na karaniwan ay mula sa mahihirap na pamilya. Umaasa lamang sila sa libreng libro o module na mula sa kanilang mga paaralan. Gayunpaman, hindi ito dapat maging dahilan para hindi sila magkaroon ng pagkakataon na magbasa at gumamit ng mga libro na makatutulong ng malaki sa kanilang pag-aaral. Kung wala pang sapat na budget ang ating gobyerno para sa pagbili ng maraming supply ng libro o magpa-print ng sapat na dami ng module, mas mainam na isalin na lang muna ito sa digital copy para hindi naman mahuhuli ang mga mag-aaral natin at magagamit nila ito gaano katagal at kadalas man nila gustuhin,” Lapid cited.

To protect the intellectual property rights of both the authors and pubishers of the textbooks, the implementation of the scanning or conversion must comply with the provisions of Republic Act No. 8293 or the “Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines.”

The e-books and digital format copies of the textbooks shall also be made available and accessible to all public school students, in a manner deemed appropriate and reasonable by the Department of Education (DepEd).

Publication Source :    People's Tonight
Marlon Purificacion
Journalist At Large