P27B needed to provide PH teachers with laptops for distance learning

DepEd plans to supply PH teachers with laptops to help them with the planned distance learning when classes resume.

Laptops for PH teachers

With distance learning becoming a strong option on delivering classes for the upcoming school years 2020-2021, the Department of Education (DepEd) is working on how to provide PH teachers and students the needed tools.

The estimated funding needed to provide laptops for the 800,000 PH teachers from public schools nationwide will be around P27 Billion pesos ($53 Million). A budget that the department is figuring out how to achieve.

The guidelines for the Learning Continuity Plan (LCP) by DepEd is finally completed; now, the implementation phase will be the next agenda. This will be the first time that Philippine education will undergo blended learning of online and limited physical classes. Hence, it is expected that there will be minor bumps along the way.

Additional funding needed

The department recognizes the need to provide laptops for the PH teachers under the distance learning program, but the main concern will be the main source of funding. With the country under the crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic, government funds are diverted into agencies handling the pandemic.

In a survey conducted by DepEd, an estimated 12 percent of PH teachers from public schools do not own a laptop. This is the angle the department is working on right now, to initially provide for those teachers who do not own a laptop and let the other teachers use their personal laptops for the meantime. The goal is that everyone will have a functional gadget to be used to deliver distance learning to students.

In addition, the department is also eyeing to provide public school students, tablets to be used for online learning classes. By the end of the PH’s 2020 purchasing year, the department will have an estimated 634, 877 computers and 475,650 mobile tablets ready for distribution to public school students nationwide.

The ratio of students to gadgets will not be assured to be 1:1, but there is a possibility that in some regions where physical classes might be permitted by the Inter-Agency Task Force, a single computer will be used for a class composed of 15-20 students at most.

In far-flung areas, radio stations and television networks will be tapped to offer airtime privileges to broadcast class lessons from Grades 1 to 12.