By Jean Fernando
The Paranaque City government announced that they will provide P300-million worth of gadgets for public school pupils and teachers to cope with the “new normal education” this year.
Mayor Edwin Olivarez disclosed that they also approved the allocation of P200-million for the P6,000 annual allowance of 16,00 junior and senior high school students on August, the start of classes this year.
Olivarez said that around 7,000 tablets will be distributed to the city’s kinder and Grade 1 pupils while 300 units of laptops will be given to public school teachers worth P300 million, sourced from the local government’s special education fund (SEF).
“Instead of allocating the tablets to the high school students, the members of our local school board decided to issue the gadget to kinder and Grade 1 pupils. Today, computer will be a formative experience for a kid to learn the best in the world," Olivarez pointed out.
The mayor said that he was informed by officials of the Department of Education-Paranaque that they will be using distance learning trough modular instruction this 2020-21 school year.
Public school teachers are now prepared after attending several online learning trainings.
Olivarez expressed support to the DepEd’s plan to shift from the traditional face-to-face classes to blended learning due to the threat of the corona virus pandemic.
He also appealed to the parents to guide their child's education especially during the COVID-19 period even if they are both employed.
City Treasurer Dr. Anthony Pulmano said that the tablets with SIM cards will be allocated to pupils early next month including the laptops for kinder and elementary teachers.
Pulmano assured the public-school students and teachers that the city government is ready for the blended learning program as they have more funds left in the SEF amounting to another P500 million.
He said the city government is scouting a location where to build cell sites in the city’s two districts if ever the national government proposes virtual classes on August 24.
A portion of the budget would also fund the internet allowance for public school teachers to address their concerns regarding connectivity under the planned blended system of learning, the city treasurer said.
According to Pulmano, the budget for the P500 monthly allowance of junior and senior high school students will be mainly sourced from the city’s SEF.