By Jel Santos
The local government unit (LGU) of Pasig City has finally found P1.2 billion from their budget to fund the learning devices for public school students and some teachers in the city, Mayor Vico Sotto disclosed in a Facebook Live on Wednesday night (June 17).
In May, the mayor said the city government was searching for funds in order to purchase learning devices such as laptops and tablets for public school students.
The Pasig LGU aims to help students continue their education amid the coronavirus threat this school year.
“Nakahanap po tayo ng P1.2 billion para sa ating mga pampublikong paaralan para po sa mag-aaral mula sa elementarya hanggang sa senior high school. Mga tablets, iyong iba po sa kanila mga laptop, lalo na po ‘yung mga ICT students at ang mga teachers nila, bibigyan po ng pamahalaan ng Pasig ng mga tablets, laptops, o mga learning devices (We finally found P1.2 billion for our public schools for our students from elementary to senior high school. Some of them will receive tablets, some of them will get laptops, especially ICT students and their teachers; the city government of Pasig will give them tablets, laptops, or what we call learning devices),” Sotto said.
The mayor, in a message to the Manila Bulletin, clarified that only teachers who do not own a laptop yet will get one from the LGU.
“‘Yung mga [teachers na] wala pang laptop, bibigyan ng city (Only teachers who do not own a laptop yet will be given one by the city government),” Sotto said.
The city government, he said, assessed what types of learning devices they could provide based on the specification given by the Department of Education (DepEd).
For public school students who do not have internet access at home, Sotto said they could go to designated points where the LGU has provided local networks where they will be able to download the files they need for their education.
“Sisiguraduhin po nating lahat ay may access. Sa mga walang access ng internet sa bahay, puwede po silang pumunta sa ibang point kung saan may local network kung saan puwedeng i-download ‘yung mga files (We will ensure that everyone has access. To those without internet access at their homes, they may go to other points with local network where they may download the files they need),” the mayor said.
“So kahit wala po kayong access sa internet [sa bahay] ay hindi po titigil ang pag-aaral ng mga bata. Ito ang pinaka-cost effective way, pinaka-efficient pamamaraan para hindi matigil ang pag-aaral ng bata. Hindi po ito ideal, kaya sana po by next semester okay na tayong lahat at puwede nang pumasok ang mga bata (So, even if you do not have internet access at home, your education will not stop. This is the most cost-effective way or the most efficient way in order for education of children not to stop. This is not ideal, so I hope next semester everything will be okay so that children can go to school again,” he added.
The LGU, according to Sotto, will provide all the necessary things that the DepEd needs to push distance-learning in Pasig.
The mayor admitted that distance learning is not ideal for children’s education but he said that the current situation compels everybody to take extra precaution, saying he does not want schools to be breeding grounds of the coronavirus.
“Pero sa nakita ko po, very interesting, siyempre walang papalit sa face-to-face classes, pero sa ngayon medyo delikado pa at ayaw nating maging breeding ground ng virus ang ating mga paaralan (From what I saw, it is very interesting, still it is no replacement for face-to-face classes, but it is still dangerous now, and we do not want our schools to be breeding grounds of the virus),” he said.