Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko” Moreno Domagoso announced that the city allotted P994 million to buy tablets and laptops for blended learning set as prescribed by the Department of Education (DepEd) for the school year 2020-2021.
“The school board which I chair already approved P994 million. We will buy 110,000 tablets for children in Manila. Parents need not spend,” said Domagoso, adding that 10,200 teachers will also receive laptops to use in online classes.
The mayor anticipated that “some private school students, whose parents may have lost their job, or had difficulty these past three months, will transfer their children to public school.”
He hoped that with the service, parents will still enroll their children and urged the teachers to adopt the new normal standards into their teaching.
Similarly, the Quezon City government headed by Mayor Joy Belmonte approved a budget of P2.9 billion for tablets aimed at public high school students and Internet allowance for teachers.
Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto also allocated a P1-billion budget for the same cause.
The COVID-19 crisis compelled the education sector to adopt the blended learning setup by integrating technology and Internet connection as the primary channels.
While the local government units (LGUs) have clear plans as the resumption of classes on August 24 approaches, the national government seemingly has no clear direction on the matter.
In addition, experts and lawmakers point at our country’s Internet connectivity problems, considering that millions of students will go online once the virtual classes begin.
Even President Rodrigo Duterte himself expressed doubts if the Philippines is actually ready for virtual learning.