QC school board okays P2.9B budget for ‘new normal’ classes


By Chito Chavez

The Quezon City (QC) Local School Board said on Friday that it has unanimously approved the P2.9-billion supplemental budget for the new teaching scheme under the “new normal’’ with the face to face classes still suspended due to the novel coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Quezon City (QC) Mayor Joy Belmonte (Facebook / Manila Bulletin) Quezon City (QC) Mayor Joy Belmonte
(Facebook / Manila Bulletin)

Mayor Joy Belmonte said the approved supplemental budget will fund relevant and appropriate learning materials like gadgets, printed modules and internet allowances for more than 430,000 expected enrollees in the city’s public schools.

“We are adjusting our budget to ensure that our children will continue learning despite the sudden shift from traditional to alternative learning modalities,” said Belmonte.

The city government will provide tablets for 155,921 enrolled junior high school students and 19,810 enrolled senior high school students.

Belmonte said modules, learning packets containing flash drives and other additional printed materials will also be distributed, particularly to kinder to grade school students.

She added that a portion of the special education budget will fund the internet allowance for kinder and grade 12 public school teachers to address their concern about connectivity under the planned blended system of learning.

Aly Medalla the city's Education Affairs Head said the local government is also planning to use some of its special education funds to augment the gadgets that the Department of Education (DepEd) will provide for the teachers.

“The city plans to assign gadgets to all public schools and other educational facilities that teachers can share through a shifting schedule,” said Medalla.

“We also intend to improve or increase internet connectivity in schools so more teachers have access to the Internet,” she added.

Earlier, the QC government announced the use of a blended system of learning for basic education to guarantee the safety of students amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Belmonte stressed the city government is working to improve school facilities, like washrooms and equipment, water supply, water catchment systems and installation of water pumps, before face-to-face classes resume.

She noted that school supplies and care packages, which include goggles, face masks, alcohol, and other necessary items that would protect the students will also be provided.