Public school students should not be compelled to buy gadgets for online classes – senator

Published June 18, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Vanne Elaine Terrazola

Public school students should not be compelled to buy gadgets and other equipment to take part in the online learning program that the government is planning amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said on Thursday, June 18.

Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian (Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)
Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian
(Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

The chairman of the Senate basic education committee issued the appeal following reports of an incoming Grade 9 student who reportedly took his life due to the expenses for his online classes.

“Nakakalungkot dahil sa frustration and hopelessness nagpakamatay siya (It sad that because of frustration and hopelessness, he took his life),” Gatchalian said in a teleconference with reporters.

“We should not force our students to go online. Kung talagang mahal — alam natin ang public schools natin (we know the our public schools) cater to the poorest of the poor, marami tayong mga public schools (we have a lot of public schools) — huwag natin pilitin ang mga students na bumili ng gadgets bumili ng load, bumili ng laptops, tablets, kung di nila kaya (we should not force them to buy gadgets, load, laptops, tablets, if they cannot afford it),” he said.

Gatchalian reminded the Department of Education (Deped) that it can instead deliver learning modules to students who do not have access to Internet and do not have gadgets to join the online classes.

While he agreed that online learning remains to be the most effective replacement for physical classes, since this is more interactive and “like the classroom”, the senator pointed out that majority of the population cannot afford it.

He said the government may adopt more affordable learning delivery options, such as through television and radio. The government’s plan to procure and distribute transistor radios will also be a good “stop gap measure” to address this problem, he said.

Gatchalian said the government has to “start somewhere” than the proposed “academic freeze”, saying the latter would only benefit private school students whose education is more advanced than those in public schools.

“To freeze learning for one year, ‘yong mahihirap nating kababayan, kawawa sila, maiiwanan sila (poor students will only suffer, they will lag behind),” he said.

With distance learning through TV and radio, the less fortunate students will “at least have a fighting chance,” he pointed out.

 
CLICK HERE TO SIGN-UP
 

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

["news","news"]
[2000447,2917102,2917091,2917086,2917075,2917069,2917060]