Another story I was working on is the recent evaluation of the Deped of textbooks in social studies and English for public schools. The Deped recently issued a call for textbook manuscripts for evaluation prior to the actual bidding. The textbooks were subjected to a four-level evaluation from the previous one-level only. In short, none of the 130 textbooks were passed the Deped's evaluation. This is interesting because some of these textbooks were submitted by some of the country's top publishers. Deped usec Mike Luz gave the publishers a piece of his mind when he told them that they had produced garbage and that if the Deped were to choose among these books for purchase, the department would end up buying nothing. To me, it was indicative of the sorry state of the quality of the local textbook publishing industry. One publisher even revealed during an open forum that some of these books were already being used in private schools. If I had a child who was already studying and using these textbooks, the story and its implications will be more than enough to send shudders up my spine, or at the very least, leaf through these textbooks and check for myself their "quality." The story became the subject of an Inquirer editorial where they commended the moves of the Deped. The piece also pointed out that historically, the issue of the poor quality of our textbooks can be traced to "cozy" relationship between the publishers and the department. The industry must now wake up to smell the coffee and realize that the Deped now means business in the purchase of the textbooks. The old corrupt system is gone, for now. Let's hope the Deped continues with its crusade, otherwise this will just be another issue of ningas cogon.